A Walk Through Arboga
Öhrströms Gård, Arboga Museum
In 1846 the merchant Anders Öhrström built a lavish residence for himself and his family – The Öhrström estate (Öhrströms gård) on Nygatan has been meticulously renovated and its period rooms and features are a true asset to Arboga. The estate is now home to Arboga Museum.
The museum also houses a large photographic archive and library in addition to modern facilities for exhibitions and other events. An additional feature of the museum is the collections of silver, tin and alder root on display, all made by famous Arboga craftsmen.
The local judicial figure Olof Ahllöf commissioned the architect Nicodemus Tessin Dy to design this historical building. In later years King Karl XIV often stayed here on his trips to Norway.
In the 1870s the building was remodeled into a restaurant and the garden became Ahllöfsparken (Ahlöf’s park). The interior of “Stadskällaren” has undergone several refurbishments, the latest being in 2006.
Helga Kors Chapel (Helga kors kapell)
Helga Kors Chapel can be found on the old thoroughfare. On the northern wall there is a niche in which, during the catholic period, there was always an image of a saint. It was here that travelers took a respite in their journeys to pray for good fortune and success on the road ahead.
The Mannerstrålska House (Mannerstrålska huset)
This spectacular building has medieval cellars with vaulted ceilings. There is also an entrance to the so called monk tunnels. According to legend the monks had a network of passages constructed under the town in which they were free to move about. The passages have never been the subject of any archeological research, although they do add a certain mystery to the town which the inhabitants are proud of.
The house was the residence of several mayors during the 17th and 18th centuries. One such mayor was Robert Petré, who was so rich that in 1680 he paid 145 times more tax than the other citizens of Arboga. Petré was often visited by Karl XI when he was bear hunting in the area.
This is Arboga’s oldest street, and along it are many well preserved medieval buildings, which previously belonged to merchants and tradesmen. Most of the houses are privately owned today, although visitors are welcome to admire the picturesque court yard at Västerlånggatan 1.
Along both sides of the Arboga river one can see small ”fire alleys” leading down to the water. These are a reminder of past times when the people of Arboga used the river to water their livestock, bathe, wash clothes and, of course, to extinguish fires.
The Town Hall (Rådhuset)
The town hall was originally built as a church in the 15th Century. During the reformation in the 16th Century Gustav Vasa gave the church to the people of Arboga and its new purpose was to be the town hall. However the king used the house as his own private residence instead. His daughter, Cecilia, Countess of Arboga, also lived here in 1570. From 1640 to the present day Arboga’s town council has had offices here.
The Old Bridge and Arboga
In the 14th Century the foundations were laid for the south side of Arboga nearest the river; it was here that the first bridge in Arboga was built. Today the bridge is known by two names – Gamla Bron (the old bridge) and Kapellbron (the chapel bridge). The name Arboga can be traced back to a slightly inaccurate translation of the Old Swedish word, Ahrbugi which means ‘bend in the river’.
The Crugska Estate (Crugska gården)
was renamed Felten’s estate, when it was bought by Count Per Brahe the younger. After the great fire in 1650, the abandoned estate was used as a kitchen garden. In the 18th Century the buildings were fully restored and from 1751 and for the next 150 years the estate was used by workers in the textiles dying trade. The last tradesman was Carl Wilhelm Crug who also gave his name to the estate.
Ladbron and Kungsgården
Ladbron was the depot from which all the iron from Bergslagen was transported to Stockholm; it was also here that all manner of trading goods were off loaded from the return ships. During the 16th and 17th Centuries, iron was Arboga’s main trading product. After the construction of the Hjälmare Canal however, Arboga lost its position as a leading port town.
Kungsgården originally belonged to Gustav Vasa’s estate. The building which stands today was commissioned by mayor Henrik Barkhusen in the 1650s. During Karl XII’s final journey to Stockholm in 1718, following his campaign in Norway in which he was fatally wounded, he was lain in state at Kungsgården. The catafalque which was used to present the coffin is on display in Arboga Museum.
Iron Square (Järntorget) and the Iron Scales
Järntorget was opened in the mid-17th Century to accommodate the huge amounts of iron which were transported here from the surrounding Bergslagen area. Before being shipped out it was weighed and taxed - a reliable income source for the town. The iron scales which can be seen today are in fact a copy of the original.
Known throughout Sweden, the master thief and venturer Lars Molin was buried in 1847 in the cemetery at the church of the Holy Trinity (Heliga Trefaldighets kyrka). Molin was more popularly known as Lasse-Maja – a name he received in infamy for carrying out his robberies dressed as a woman.
Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson was the leader of a revolt against the king, Erik of Pommern. At an assembly in Arboga in 1435, Engelbrekt was elected national commander. The assembly is now recognized as Sweden’s first parliament.
Engelbrekt was murdered on an island in lake Hjälmaren in 1436. Part of the celebrations commemorating 500 years of history in Arboga was a competition to design a statue of Engelbrekt; Carl Eldh’s was the winning entry.
The Church of the Holy Trinity (Heliga Trefaldighets Kyrka)
Work on the first church buildings was begun in the 13th Century; the earliest plans were of a monastery for an order of Franciscan monks which had settled in Arboga. Early in the 16th Century Gustav Vasa broke with the Roman Catholic Church and the monastery was opened as a church for the people of Arboga.
During renovations in the 17th Century a church tower was added to the building. Among the artifacts of the church is the pulpit from 1736, beautifully carved by the royal sculptor Buchard Precht. The light fittings in brass are believed to be the largest in Sweden, possibly the whole of Scandinavia. 13th Century murals are displayed on the south wall, including a depiction of the life of Saint Francis.
Medieval Herb Garden (Medeltida Örtagård)
In central Arboga, in Ahllöf’s park, is Saint Karin’s herb garden. The herbs, which all come from the local area, are a living memorial to the original garden. Although the location of the herb garden is not strictly correct, it is an authentic reconstruction of the original milieu, the monastery gardens.
It is an herb garden with all the medieval characteristics and is divided into sections: vegetables, medicinal herbs, spices and flowers. The gardens are open to all visitors and have excellent foot paths (easy access for push chairs and wheelchairs) and benches for enjoying a moments rest.
The happy Arboga Philosopher
The sculpture symbols that anything is possible and will bring joy and inspiration to the people of Arboga for generations to come. This, four meter high, bronze sculpture was created by Rickard Brixel and was inaugurated in October 2006.
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