MINIGUIDE: Discover Linköping on foot
– Take an exciting town walk with elements of the canal, the locks and the ‘blood bath’
Linköping originated as an old medieval town which was always an administration centre for the countryside. There are still parts of the medieval street network preserved around Stora Torget, Tanneforsgatan, St Korsgatan and Ågatan.
St Lars Church
St Lars church is a stone church building in central Linköping. It could well be Linköping’s oldest church. The church is placed right in the middle of Linköping, on the corner of Storgatan and St Larsgatan.
It is a classic 19th-century church with a somewhat unique bell tower that chimes pleasantly three times a day. Inside the church, you immediately notice the lack of a traditional altar painting. Instead it has a chancel wall of marble that surrounds almost the entire sanctuary.
Stora Torget, Folke Filbyter & Folkungabrunnen
This square has through-out time been a natural meeting place and it was here that the five councillors were executed by decapitation, as a consequence of the Battle of Stångebro 1598 – Linköping’s blood bath.
Folkungabrunnen: statue from 1927 by Carl Milles. The statue is based on Werner von Heidenstam’s book about the Folkunga family tree, in which legend says that Folke Filbyter is the ancestor of the Bjälbo dynasty, also known as the Folkunga dynasty. The fountain is of black granite with Folke Filbyter as the central figure. The edges of the basin are decorated with reliefs drawn from the history of Östergöteland and the Bjälbo dynasty.
Linköping Cathedral is, after Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden’s largest and best preserved medieval church building. Construction of the first stone church, a Roman basilica, began in the 1120s and was ready for the Church Assembly of 1153.
On the site of the stone church there was believed to be an earlier wooden church, and excavations have confirmed Christian graves from the 1000s. The church was subsequently extended over several hundred years and stood complete around 1500, at which time it had a separate bell tower.
Linköping Castle and the Castle and Cathedral Museum
The castle was built originally as a bishop’s estate for Bishop Gisle at the beginning of the 1100s. After varied historical uses such as a renaissance royal residence and a prison, (among others, the condemned councillors awaiting execution in 1600 were held here), the castle became the Governor’s Residence at the end of the 1700s.
Since the year 2000, Linköping Castle and Cathedral Museum has been housed in the castle’s north wing. Here you can follow the building’s 900-year history and see the ecclesiastical silverware and unique textiles.
Stadshuset (the town hall)
Stadshuset was constructed in 1864 as a school house for Linköpings Högre Elementarläroverk, (Linköping’s higher elementary work), which had outgrown its location. The building in new gothic style was a school until 1915. In 1921 the newly renovated town hall was inaugurated at this site. Today the offices of municipal politicians and the central administration are housed here.
Psst... When you are at the town hall, visit Krogen Amerika if you appreciate art. The building, which is one of Linköping’s oldest, was constructed at the beginning of the 1700s and is located at Läroverksgatan 5.
Gamla Storgatan (the old high street)
Gamla Storgatan is preserved today as a short cobble-stoned stretch between Läroverksgatan and Apotekaregatan. In medieval times this was the main street from the bishop’s palace to the castle and square. It was also down this street that the condemned councillors walked to their execution in the square in the year 1600 (the Linköping blood bath). The existing Storgatan was laid in the middle of the 1600s.
Stångebro (the extension of Storgatan over the river)
The battle of Stångebro 1598 could be called “avsättningskriget mot Sigismund” (the war to depose Sigismund), as the whole war was to force him to abdicate the Swedish throne and it was Sweden’s last civil war. King Sigismund’s uncle, Duke Karl (later Karl IX and youngest son of Gustav Vasa) did not want to see his nephew on the Swedish throne.
This could have been because Sigismund was catholic and Sweden was on the way to becoming a prot-estant country – but certainly also because Duke Karl wanted to take the Swedish throne himself. This was the case of Linköping’s Bloodbath of 1600. Today the town’s sports and events arena stands here
An old medieval street which is a part of Linköping’s cultural quarter and boasts some of the town’s most interesting courtyards from the end of the 1700s and beginning of the 1800s.
Kinda Canal was finished in 1871. The canal stretched just over 80km from Lake Åsunden in the south to Lake Roxen in the north. The canal comprises 15 locks. Linköping harbour was an important lake harbour with warehousing rights in the latter part of the 1800s and a large number of industries grew up by the river. All goods traffic stopped in 1948.
A canal walkway now exists along each side of the river which is ideal for joggers. Alongside the canal there are cosy cafés and restaurants. In summertime the passenger boat M/S Kind takes short and longer trips. For the adventurous there is access to wakeboard lines and kayak rental.
More opportunities for town walks
Take a guided tour!
Join a guided tour with Linköping’s Guideklubb. In addition to their programme, they offer tailor-made tours, bus tours and dramatised walks of the highest quality.
Why not also book one of the destination’s own guides for a better experience when visiting for example the Open-air Museum of Old Linköping, Linköping Cathedral etc.
Digital Town Walks
Come and discover central Linköping together with Sofia Helin, Marie Göranzon, Gunnar Elfström or Peter Harryson. With your own mobile phone as a tool, you have the possibility, at a time that suits you, to go along with one of our guides for an exciting tour. Choose between 4 tours:
• Medieval tour
• Art tour
• Architectural Tour
• From razed farming village to modern city
Walking tours take about 60 – 90 minutes and start by the Museum of Östergötland. In the mobile guide there are films, maps and a list of sights. You will get access to the walks through the link below.