urban area in Arboga Municipality, Sweden

Arboga is a town in Västmanland. Arboga, with its well-preserved medieval character, is a beautiful and charming town. The ancient cobblestones of Västerlånggatan (the riverside street, lined with period wooden houses) have been trodden by the feet of many locals and travellers throughout the ages.

Understand Edit

Kära Örebroare. Förlåt, Arboga.
"Dear people of Örebro. Sorry, Arboga."King Carl XVI Gustaf, 1985, at the 550-year anniversary of Arboga Riksdag.

The town holds a prominent position in Swedish medieval history, and the country's first parliament (riksdag) was held here in 1435. Today, Arboga is a quiet town with a population of around 12,000.

An exciting period in Arboga’s history was when the Franciscan monks settled here during the 13th century; Gråbröderna (the grey brotherhood), as there were called, were known for participating in communities which they thought had the potential to expand and develop. This was true of Arboga and the town owes a lot to the work of the monks, e.g. the monastery they built which later became the church of the Holy Trinity in Arboga. The monks also tended to the poor and the sick, and taught reading skills to children. There are many stories of an old network of underground passages in which the monks could move around the town in secret. The monks stayed in Arboga until the 16th century, when King Gustav Vasa broke with the Roman Catholic Church, took over all the monasteries and drove the monks out of Sweden.

Arboga was an influential town during the middle ages; the Arboga River gave the town a trade route to Stockholm and the rest of the world. The iron ore trade was also an important commodity during Arboga’s history, where it was weighed and stored at Ladbron. Unfortunately the trade route was discontinued after construction was completed on the Hjälmarkanal (Hjälmar Canal), but then the new canal did have some positive effects on Arboga.

Arboga was also host to a number of important historical events including Engelbrekt’s first assembly of the Swedish parliament in 1435. The town was also a residence for monarchs – during the 16th century Gustav Vasa and his daughter, Cecilia, lived here. Cecilia later became Countess Cecilia of Arboga and lived in the church building Helge And, which later became the town hall and remains so today.

Get in Edit

Direct trains from Stockholm Central Station.

Get around Edit

The city is very small and is best seen by foot. You can park very close to the city centre, free of charge. But you can also go by car in the city center. To go to sights outside of the town you can go by car, bike or taxibus.

See Edit

  • Västerlånggatan. This is Arboga’s oldest street, and along it are many well-preserved medieval buildings, which used to belong 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.
  • fire alleys. Along both sides of the Arboga river, you 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 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. Since 1640, 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Jädersbruk. In 1551, Gustav Vasa established an arms production factory in Arboga called The Arboga Weapons Factory (Arboga vapenfabrik). The production of swords, daggers, etc. in Arboga continued until 1630. During the 18th century the production of weapons died out completely at Jäder and was replaced with production of non military equipment for the crown. Wire production took over as the main area of business towards the end of the 18th century. In 1757 Jädersbruk was bought by Wilhelm Neuman, who was later knighted and took the name Mannerstråle. The mansion with its several floors and twenty large rooms - the winter garden alone could seat 50 dinner guests - was built in 1883.
  • Hjälmare Kanal. Hjälmare Canal connects lake Hjälmaren and Arboga River and is also Sweden’s oldest man-made waterway. Construction on the canal began in 1639 and it demanded almost continual maintenance and repair work until 1819-1831 when a new canal was dug between the lake, Kvarnsjön and Arboga River. The canal improved the trade routes between Örebro and Stockholm and it was still being used commercially in the 1970s. The importance of the canal to the business community in the local area can be seen in the statistics, e.g. from 1906, when in one shipping season lasting 229 days, 1,951 vessels passed through the canal. The canal traffic included steam boats, sailing boats, tug boats and barges in addition to passenger boats. Today all commercial traffic on the canal has ceased and it is now used purely for recreation. The canal is 13.7 km long and has nine locks. There is a height fall of 21.2 m from the lake to Arboga river. At the locks in Hjälmare docks (Hjälmaredocka, Hällby) there is a collection of historical artifacts and photography documenting the canal’s history. The museum also has a cafe. For further information, contact Svea Skog or the Hjälmare Canal Association (Hjälmare kanals vänner)

Do Edit

Historical city walks and Jädersbruksdagarna (market, veteran vehicles, music & exhibits) are but a few of the events that draw a large audience.

Arboga’s rolling landscapes and close proximity to lakes and forests provide many opportunities for a wide range of thrilling outdoor activities.

There are several art galleries, many exiting boutiques, interesting shops and cosy cafés, all in the well-preserved heart of the medieval city center.

Events Edit

  • Arboga is known for the Medieval Days in August
  • The Carneval, Kanalens Dag (canal event), Summer entertainment by the river

Eat Edit

There are several nice restaurants in Arboga.

Drink Edit

There are some nice pubs and restaurants in the beautiful medieval city center.

Sleep Edit

There are several different housings if you want to stay over night. You can choose from hotels, B&Bs, motels, stay on a farm-living and hostels.

Go next Edit

Routes through Arboga
KarlstadÖrebro  W   E  VästeråsStockholm
GöteborgÖrebro  W   E  EskilstunaStockholm

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