Vasteras is located near the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, in a picturesque area where the Swarton River flows into Lake Mälaren. The rich historical past, the industrial present and the beauty of the surrounding landscape have successfully combined in this city. There are attractions that tell a lot about the history and culture of the country. When traveling in Sweden, Westeros is definitely worth a visit, at least for one day.
The city of Vasteras (Sweden) is a large industrial center and river port. It spreads over an area of about 55 km² at the confluence of the Swarton River and Lake Mälaren, the 3rd largest lake in Sweden. In terms of population (about 110 thousand), Vasteras takes the fifth place in the ranking of cities in Sweden.
The city has almost a thousand-year history. At the end of the eleventh century, a settlement arose here, which, in accordance with its geographical position, was simply called the “Estuary” – Aros. After a couple of centuries, the name was clarified by the word “Western” – Vestra Aros, which eventually transformed into Vasteras.
Since the XIII century, the settlement acquired fortress walls and received the status of a city. At the beginning of the XVI century Westeros (Sweden) was conquered by the Danes, but was soon liberated. In the XVII century, copper deposits were found near this city, and Vasteras became the center of copper smelting, where guns were cast for the Swedish army.
A significant role in the economic development of the city belongs to the Swarton River. In addition to the fact that it is the country’s waterway, from the end of the 19th century. A hydroelectric power station was built on the river, supplying energy to the rapidly developing industry of the city.
Five large industrial enterprises are currently operating in Westeros, including the well-known Swedish-Swiss company ABB and a branch of the Canadian company Bombardier. Melardalen, one of Sweden’s largest universities, is located in the city. About 13 thousand students study there.
Westeros has two major stadiums for ball hockey competitions. The city team more often than others became the champion of Sweden in this sport.
The world-famous clothing brand H&M originates in Westeros, where it was founded in 1947. In Sweden, Westeros is best known as the “city of cucumbers”, this humorous nickname he received in the XIX century, due to the excellent quality and a large quantity of this vegetable in local markets.
Vasteras (Sweden) has sights to match its venerable age, most of them are architectural and historical monuments of the XIII-XVI centuries. But there are attractions in this city that are created today. The Swedes value their historical and cultural heritage very much, they are pleased with the interest of the guests in the past and present of the country. Therefore, the attitude towards tourists in Sweden is the most positive and, importantly, access to many attractions is free.
Tourists arriving in Vasteras right next to the railway station will meet with one of the important sights of the city. This is an old park, laid back in the 16th century by the King of Sweden, Gustav Vasa. Long before this, the garden of the nearby Dominican monastery was located here, but after the reformation, which was initiated by the same Gustav Vasa, the monastery was closed and the garden became desolate.
By order of Gustav Vasa, fruit trees were planted on the site of the monastery garden, and the new garden was called the Royal Park. In the 19th century, a copper bust of its founder was installed in the park, which still stands today. In addition to this attraction, there are other interesting art objects in Vasapark.
The sculptural composition “Vaga” consists of 6 fragments depicting the stages of the river fording a horse. The first sculpture shows a doubting animal by the river, then the horse decisively enters the water. The sculptures show the stages of its immersion, until almost complete disappearance under water. In the end, the horse safely gets ashore.
The name of this sculptural composition “Vaga” in Swedish means “decisiveness”, it is this quality that the famous Swedish sculptor Mats Obberg sought to convey in his artistic image. Vaga was installed in Vasapark in 2002. Nearby is another sculpture of the same master – a small figure of a sleeping woman, which is called “Sovande” (sleeping).
Another attraction of Vasapark is Hotell Hackspett (tree hotel). This mini-hotel is unusual in that it is located on the branches of an old oak tree at a height of 13 m. It was built in 1998 by the architect Michael Jenberg. The builders of the original hotel dispensed with driving nails or screws into the tree; the structure rests on powerful cables.
Vasapark is open for visits daily, admission is free .
From Vasapark you can see the gray rectangular tower with four flags, towering above the town hall of Westeros. The town hall building was built in 1953 according to the project of architect Sven Albom. In the original design, it was two laconic buildings standing nearby, faced with gray marble tiles. However, when digging a pit, the remains of an ancient monastery were found, which inspired the architect to complete the bell tower. According to his idea, in this consecrated place, like many centuries ago, the bell ringing should have sounded again.
As a result, 5 years after construction, the 65-meter tower, which housed 47 bells, was added to the town hall building. This “bell orchestra” is one of the attractions of Westeros, in its repertoire – works by many composers of the past and present: Vivaldi, Mozart, Balman, Ulf Lundin and others. You can enjoy the melodic bell ringing every 30 minutes.
The Ancient Cathedral is the main attraction of Westeros. The date of its construction is considered to be 1271, but since then the Vasteras Cathedral building has been rebuilt several times.
At the end of the 17th century, after the fire, the cathedral bell tower was restored to an unprecedented height of almost 92 m. The townspeople, fearing the collapse of the tower, began to fence around it towers and complained to the king about this object that seemed dangerous to them. The author of the bell tower, the architect Nicodemius Tesin, managed to convince the king of the reliability of this structure, the supports were removed, and the tower remains to this day. It is the third highest among the bell towers of Sweden.
The interior of the Cathedral has been preserved from pre-Teteran times – from the 15th century. Particularly noteworthy are the sarcophagus of King Eric XIV, carved altar cabinets made by Dutch masters and the mausoleum of the Brahe family.
The sarcophagus of Eric XIV is made of a valuable grade of marble. It so happened that after the death of this monarch received more honors than in life. He was the king of Sweden in 1560-1568, but was quickly removed from the throne by his brothers, who declared him crazy. The rest of his life, Eric XIV spent in custody, already today in the analysis of his remains a large amount of arsenic was found, which gives rise to suspicions of intentional poisoning.
In addition to the Sarcophagus of Eric XIV, Vasteras Cathedral has many other burials of prominent personalities of Sweden. There is a museum at the Cathedral.
- The opening hours of the Cathedral: daily, 9-17.
- Free admission.
- Address: 6 Vaestra Kyrkogatan, Vasteras 722 15, Sweden.
In the center of Westeros, on the banks of the river, there is an open-air museum, which is a reconstruction of the old Swedish village. About 40 national village houses are collected here. You can enter any of them to familiarize yourself with everyday life and chat with the “inhabitants” of the Swedish village dressed in national costumes.
It is especially interesting here in the warm season, when horse-drawn carts drive along the streets, goats and poultry graze. A mini zoo with representatives of the fauna of Sweden is open here for children. There are souvenir shops on the territory, there is a cafe with a national interior and a kitchen.
- Opening hours: daily, 10-17.
- Free admission.
- Address: 2 Skerikesvaegen, Vasteras 724 80, Sweden.
In Westeros, however, as in other cities of Scandinavia, bicycles occupy an important place in the transport infrastructure. Swedes’ love for this two-wheeled vehicle is reflected in another attraction of the city – the monument to cyclists Aseaströmmen.
This monument is located on the main square of Westeros – Stura Tornet, whose name in translation means Big Square. The sculptural composition is a series of cyclists riding one after another.
In the metal cast figures it is easy to recognize workers going to the factory shift. This is confirmed by the name of the monument. After all, Aseaströmmen includes the words “flow” and the name of the largest company Westeros ASEA (currently ABB). The name “Stream ASEA” is ambiguous – it is both cyclists rushing to work, and the flow of electricity produced by the equipment produced at this enterprise, and the vital energy, which ASEA fills the city’s economy.
Directly in Vasteras in the summer, finding a hotel for accommodation is quite problematic, so you need to book accommodation in advance. Those who did not have time to do this can settle in one of the many hotels in the suburbs. The cost of a three-star double room with breakfast included in the summer is about € 100 / day. In winter, prices go down.
Eating in Westeros is relatively inexpensive. You can dine together for € 7 at McDonald’s, for € 9 – at an inexpensive cafe. For lunch in a mid-range restaurant you will have to pay € 30-75. The cost of drinks is not included in these calculations.
It is most advantageous to cook on your own, since the products here are relatively cheap:
- bread (500 g) – € 1-2,
- milk (1 l) – € 0.7-1.2,
- eggs (12 pcs.) – € 1.8-3,
- potatoes (1 kg) – € 0.7-1.2,
- chicken (1 kg) – from € 4.
How to get there by bus
From the Stockholm bus station to Westeros, 4 bus flights leave daily: at 9.00, 12.00, 18.00 and 22.45. Departure time must be clarified, as it can change.
The duration of the trip is 1 hour 20 minutes.
Ticket prices range from € 4.9 to € 6.9.
How to get there by train
From Stockholm Central Station, trains to Westeros depart every hour. Travel time – from 56 minutes to 1 hour.
Ticket price – € 11-24.
A trip to the city of Vasteras from Stockholm will be inexpensive, and the impressions of exploring it will remain the most pleasant. One day is enough to see its sights. Do not forget to include this interesting city in your tourist program.