Mariestad in Sweden is rightfully called the Pearl of Lake Vänern. It was founded in 1583 by Duke Karl (later become King Karl IX), who named the city after his wife, Duchess Maria av Pfalz. The city with its 15 000 inhabitants has a lot to offer. The hidden jewel at the heart of the city is the beautiful wooden buildings of the Old Town, which were erected in the 18th and 19th centuries and are still almost perfectly intact. The city of Mariestad suffered a great fire in 1895, and this old section is the only one not affected by the raging flames. I had another quality time with my wife wandering among the charming wooden buildings and I look forward to sharing our treasure with you. Let’s start with a look at one of the typical narrow cobblestone streets:

Wandering through time in old Mariestad #1

Then we take one pearl after the other – I hope you don’t get bored!:

Wandering through time in old Mariestad #2

This warehouse, built around 1800 is all that remains of the numerous wooden buildings that previously lined the harbour and therefore a valuable element of the old part of Mariestad. Today it has been converted to a graphic museum and an art gallery.

Wandering through time in old Mariestad #3

The Youth Hostel, own by the SYHA since 1944, is one of the most popular in the country. Earlier this was one of the numerous tanneries of the town. The timbered house with external galleries was build after an earlier fire in 1693.

Wandering through time in old Mariestad #4

“The house of the Misses” is from the 19th century and originally one-storied, the building was expanded by adding an upper floor in the following century, the house reflects the characteristic features of classicism.

Wandering through time in old Mariestad #5

This combination of stable, carriage house and storehouse remains from the days when courtyards surrounded by buildings where customary. The house was build and owned by Mr. Olaus in the beginning of the1850s who was a charioteer (carriage man) or that times taxi driver if you like.

Wandering through time in old Mariestad #6

The courtyard of wooden houses from the 1800s. Notice the delicate and well cared for garden. Here we met a charming lady who had lived in that house for a number of years, and really enjoyed her traditional surroundings.

Wandering through time in old Mariestad #7

A typical burgher’s house where the otherwise symmetrical building has an extra chamber on one side – typical for the area. It’s build shortly after the fire of 1693. Around 1900, there was a bakery in the northern part of the building.

Wandering through time in old Mariestad #8

The red house is where Bror Kronstrand was born in 1874. He was a famous portrait painter whose painting of prominent people can be admired in many parts of the world. To the left Berg’s Hotel, another low plastered building, characteristic of the old town. Notice the cathedrals tower in the background!

Information sources:
Many thinks to tourist information guide Anna Söderman at Mariestad’s tourist office who suggested this tour and gave us a brochure with a map of the Old Town. I would also like to thank Elisabeth Göthberg, manager of Vadsbo Museum for an interesting discussion and further details about the old town. She turned out to be the writer of the information in the folder and I refer to her texts in my descriptions. The ladies of Mariestad are jewels of the town as well!

Update 1:
This post has become a part of this years Lifecruisers Cyber Cruise. Read more about: Lifecruiser cyber cruise and here is Cyber Cruise Calendar 2007

Update 2
This post has become a part of Rich’s blog Planet Earth Daily Photos – an honor of course!

Update 3
A good friend of mine RSannes from Norwegian School of Management, suggested I put up a link to map of Mariestad – Click!


  1. Lovely tour, pictures and commentary, Renny. I love the cobblestone streets, but they are narrow and probably a bit rough to drive on. They were built in the days of carriages and wagons which were much smaller than many of our modern cars.
    Beautiful weather for your tour and pictures, too. :-)
    Love and hugs,

    Thanks for your compliments. The less cars the better you know!
    Yea, we where lucky to have one of those summer days:-)

  2. What a charming village! I love the cobblestoned streets (although those are rough on the feet) and the architecture. Beautiful!

    A bit rough but also good exercisers for your body you know! Glad you liked it.

  3. what an absolutely charming place. it’s just so picturesque and lovely.

    I knew you would like it Lime:-)

  4. So lovely! I love old streets with cobblestones!

    Glad you liked it Tracey:-)

  5. Ah, what a great little town Renny! I’ve never been to Mariestad actually, so it’s interesting to see it, thanks :-)
    I’ve plugged you as a Lifecruiser Tips!
    Now, we’re on our way out for some dancing!!!!
    *dancing around already*

    As you are Swedish, I’m glad I could finally show you then:-)
    Thanks for plugging me – I’ve made an update!
    I know you are dancing and will check on your blog tomorrow – keep us posted!

  6. Wonderful posting, Renny. I especially love the beautiful pictures!
    Love your new spot in the Blogosphere, too. Was it difficult to move (the former postings, etc?)

    Glad you enjoyed the trip and the pics!
    I had Chas helping, but actually it’s very easy if you know what you are doing. Tell me if I can help you – I’m an expert now:-)

  7. A beautiful walk through Mariestad! The old town is very well preserved. It is a place were it must be enjoyable to live. ( beauty and aesthetic are always present.) Thanks Renny for this lovely walking!

    Your welcome – I’m glad you liked it and I’m sure you have a lot of places like this in France too:-) We saw Marseilles in Tour de France yesterday and that was a beautiful place too!

  8. Renny, it was about time to get rid of Anna and me in order to tell the world about Mariestad – LOL. We will come back, as we now know you are a pro guide in the old part of this peral of a town.
    btw- hope all of you are well and have a jolly good time.

    Well, there is a lot of pearls in Mariestad and the surroundings, so we only got time to show you a few things. So welcome back – there is a lot more to explore!
    We’re fine and even the weather is fairly good now. Hope all is well at your summer house too!

  9. It looks like such a cute place :)

    It is – hope one day you and Gord will be able to visit so we can show you around!

  10. cute! i like the place. really classical. taxi driver? heheeheh ;p

    Glad you liked it too! Well, the closest I could get to explain ;p

  11. Renny, what a lovely post. I love the pictures of all the old buildings…so much history! Mariestad looks a fascinating place. I’ll have to put that on my list of places to visit when I do my big world trip in the next few years.
    Take care

    Ohh yea, a lot of history in this and that fascinates me too!
    I big world trip sounds great – tell me when you are coming, so that I can help you planning through Scandinavia!

  12. a very nice subject there is rarely anything new to be uncovered in the comfort of the familiar history to learn, to grow, to see what’s over that horizon, we must go there

    Very well said dear friend and you are welcome any time!

  13. This is a very beautiful city.

    I couldn’t agree more!

  14. Bored??? Are you crazy? ;-) I love stuff like this!
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for saying so. For a while I was thinking it was to many pics and a long story, but glad I gave you it all then;-)

  15. Pingback:lazaza83 » The If’s Castle/Le chateau d’If

  16. thanks for showing some of the places where you live at. i like the burger house. the houses in picture is same with the sims model house :D

    Your welcome – I just love to share you know! Sims – never thought of that:D

  17. Very interesting reportage Renny ! Must be a lovely town. I love the wooden houses.

    Thanks and yes, really it is!

  18. This very much reminds me of when we went to Porvo, east of Helsinki, Finland, last summer, Renny. Many of your pics have a similar feel. So many happy memories!

    Glad I could recall your memory then. Finland is close so now wonder they have a lot in common as to culture and architecture.

  19. I enjoyed this tour, Renny. Such a magnificent town, and your pictures are wonderful!

    I’m glad you did and coming from you, compliment on my pics is an honor.
    To all: Go visit her photo blog and see her breath taking pics!

  20. I just loved those wooden houses!Very classic! Our first rental house in Frankfurt was wooden one.It’s called framework house my husband & i really loved the place but unfortunately, we’d had to move to another state.Thanks for sharing these fantastic photos renny! it looks like sweden is getting clearer sky these days:)

    Well, actually my favorite is wooden house too and I live in one. More natrual I think:-) Glad you’ve had the same experiences.
    The weather that day was the loveliest and we have had some good once after that too. The forecast isn’t that good though, but we enjoy our vacation anyway:-)

  21. Hey,
    I’m so glad to have discovered your blog–this is great! I love the photos and commentary. My heritage is Danish (my Mom’s maiden name is Jensen) so I’ll be back for more.

    And I am always glad to welcome new visitors – thank you!
    Glad you can find some from your Scandinavian roots on my blog – Jensen is as common as Amundsen you know.
    Welcome back any time Charlotte (which also is quite a common name in the Nordic countries, at least in Denmark).

  22. Ah yes RennyBA you are definitely what we call in this house of Yiddish heritage….a SCHMOOZE MONSTER!
    Did you , by the way, take those lovely shots with your NOKIA? LOL
    Couldnt resist….
    I love the architecture there, its so lovely!

    A Schmooze Monster; I like that and said by you, it’s an extra bonus:-)
    No, this was taken with my Nikon S2 cam – I wanted it to be perfect you know LoL
    Glad you liked the houses!

  23. Wonderful tour, Renny…I feel like I was there with you! I’ve never been to Sweden and any pictures I have seen were more like Touristy photo’s—Beautiful, but no heart the way your pictures and your descriptions have heart….Thanks, my dear, for once again taking me on a “special” trip!

    Thank you Naomi – It’s taken with passion you know and I’m glad you could join me too!

  24. What a beautiful place! Such charming buildings. Oh my, I wish I were there.

    Thanks my awarder! Your welcome any time – I’ll gladly give you a private guided tour!

  25. Hi fellow Schmooze award winner,
    What a great blog you have! Wonderful photos, and very inspiring texts.
    I was in Sweden to visit a friend in Amal this February – plenty of snow, cosy log fires, romantic places…
    I wish you much success for promoting Scandinavia!

    Good to see you Su – congrats to you too!
    Glad you liked my blog – always great to see new readers you know and I really liked yours too!
    We pass Åmål on our way to the vacation home – winter is a lovely season, yes – tell me next time you are coming!
    Thanks for your greetings!

  26. I must say I was fascinated by the colors Renny :D

    Thanks – I was lucky with the sunny weather you know :D

  27. Those are some great pics! I especially love the colors, the buildings and the blue skies! The travel bug is really high again for me. I just gotta figure out how to execute it! (And no that doesn’t include north america)…

    Thanks for the compliment – coming from you it’s an honor!
    Hope you can make it back to Europe one day – and of course to Scandinavia:-)

  28. Thank you for the wonderful cyber tour though this very interesting historic area. Great photos!

    Thanks – my pleasure!

  29. I knew Jensen was a common name in Denmark, but I didn’t realize Charlotte was. I’ll definitely be visiting your blog often, thanks.

    I’ll checked: In Norway; 5550 is called Charlotte and thats quite a lot with a total population of 4.7 mill. In Denmark 23987 out of 5.4 mill.

  30. Hi Renny. Your Burgher’s House photo is today’s featured photograph on
    Planet Earth Daily Photo
    Thanks again, Rich

    Thanks Rich – I’ve made an update to return the favor.

  31. Pingback:Sword Girl » Back up!

  32. Wow Renny, those are beautiful photo’s!
    Glad I found your site again. We met a while ago on my previous blog. You might not remember, but visit the new one coz all the old posts are there, and they might refresh your memory ;)
    Danette (South Africa)

    Thanks Danette – good to see you back again – I’ll be right over!

  33. The wooden houses and the plastered homes are all so beautiful! We have some leftover cobblestone streets here in the downtown area. Sometime I’ll have to post some pictures. Your posts are so well-written!!! :-)

    Yea, it’s beautiful monuments from the past and still well in use. Keep us posted when you share some of yours! Glad you liked what you red too!

  34. Oh, I am inspired to go to more historical sights now.
    I love these tours you do.

    Always glad to hear I can inspire someone!

  35. My Dr was just in Sweden for a Pain conference, and she says it is the cleanest place she has ever been.
    Her exact words were, “The bathrooms were so clean and shiney that it looked like they had just replaced all the procelain and taps just for me. Then I went to a public washroom and it too looked like they had just replaced all the fixtures just for me!”
    After her raves and a year of this beautiful history on Norway and Sweden I am itching to visit there!
    I think I am most fond of the life you guys make outdoors. Hiking and camping and going to cabins with no electricity and such.
    I love that life.
    When we cannot get away to camp we set up camp in the back garden.
    Right now we have the screen house out for great evenings in the fresh air.
    Thanks Renny, this is all sooo beautiful!

    On behalf of the Swede, I say thanks for your Dr.s’ compliments! Hope she’ll find the same when visiting Norway too!
    And you too of course – your welcome any time – tell me in advance so that we can arrange for some outdoor adventures together!
    Seams to me your are quite creative getting some outdoors experience too:-)
    and: than You for your visit and all this nice comments!

  36. Hej! Bilderna är vackra, men jag saknar en hel del potentiellt “säljande” Mariestadsbilder. Jag är född och uppvuxen i Mariestad, men bor numer i USA, och jag vet att det finns mer att visa upp.

    Exempel: Sandviken; Minnesfjället; Torsö/Brommö/Djurö…vinter, sommar, höst och vår; fler foton från “gamla stan”, t o m nära nya torget!
    Kinnekulle och alla små strandjuveler på vägen dit (om du tar “lilla vägen” genom Lugnås).
    Börstorp, Säby (inklusive intressanta byggnader samt rester av gamla byggnader tillhörande egendomen) med kortfattad historia.

    Vänliga Hälsningar, Håkan Ström

    Hvor trivelig å se en svensk som bor i USA på min blog og takk for at du også kommenterer!
    Jeg er fullt ut enig med deg i at Mariestad har en masse flott og by på og at jeg bare har dekket fra denne byen og området rundt. Håper du har sett noe av det andre jeg har postet om her!
    Takk for dine tips og jeg gelder meg til å utforske mere når jeg er i Mariestad :-)

  37. Pingback:Adventures shopping trip in Mariestad, Sweden

  38. Pingback:Summer fun with family in Sweden

  39. The red house is where Bror Kornstrand was born in 1874. He was a famous portrait painter whose painting of prominent people can be admired in many parts of the world. To the left Berg’s Hotel, another low plastered building, characteristic of the old town.

  40. A typical burgher’s house where the otherwise symmetrical building has an extra chamber on one side – typical for the area. It’s build shortly after the fire of 1693. Around 1900, there was a bakery in the northern part of the building.

  41. Originally built in the days when carriages rocked along these cobblestones, the streets are now mostly one way as they are not wide enough for two-way traffic without widening them, which would damage the historical community.

  42. This small new hotel in the old town of Mariestad is conveniently located near the train station, and prays comfortable rooms on a quiet location. The Kummelhjelms Pension consists of three rooms…

  43. I’m looking into buying a new Nissan Versa and am looking at local dealerships websites. One I found show the MSRP price as well as an internet price for all the Versas listed.

  44. I use and all info on any car you want is listed. when you get the tmv ( true market value ) that is the price you should pay for that car in your area. most everyone will give you that price or pretty close to it.

  45. you can also have many dealers either call or email you with their prices. you sorta cut out the middle man and that’s why you can save money. If the dealer is not within the price of about 100.00 than don’t deal with them, try another dealer.

  46. When you conncet the other cable to the back of the ruter port that is marked DSL then you take that cable to the fillter box conncet it to the port marked on the fillter marked DSL.

  47. We live in a country in which wandering cats are a lot and nothing can be done with the matter. It’s about 2 weeks that a cat come near our door and discharges (sorry) and goes.

  48. Pingback:Anniversary at the Royal Residence in Mariestad Sweden

  49. The largest employers are Electrolux home products and Katrinefors bruk, a part of Metsä Tissue AB. SCA Packaging AB, RM Perfo AB and Jede AB are other notable companies in Mariestad…..

  50. Really amazing art with the wood. I m imagined to live a beautiful place like this….

  51. That cat is marking your house as part of its territory, so there is always the possibility that all the stuff in the world won’t stop it. However, that being said, generally the best way to discourage a cat from a behavior is with noise or something that offends the senses in another way.

  52. Pingback:American family visit as tourists in Norway

  53. Pingback:Taxi Mariestad | find best taxi

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *