Kungsör, Södermanland – Exploring Sweden

With a name that tells of its royal past, Kungsör has a long history along with some of the more famous Swedish kings and queens. It is today a locality with around 5900 inhabitants right on the border between the historical provinces of Södermanland and Västmanland. Even though its center is in Södermanland, Kungsör is today a part of Västmanland County. It is actually the river, Arbogaån, that is the border between the two historical provinces. Kungsör is right on the river’s shores.

A Short History of Kungsör

Once a royal summer residence, the locality later became an industrial locality. The location might be the same, but Kungsör’s history has not stayed within its original royal borders.

A Royal Past

The Swedish king Gustav Vasa acquired the royal estate here in 1538, an event that is considered to be the origin of what is today Kungsör. Gustav Vasa’s estate included 38 farmsteads and a few dwellings. At the center of the estate was the Kungsgård, the residence of a royal. It was here that the king spent a lot of his time during his reign of Sweden.

The Vasa descendants continued to visit Kungsör. They included his son King Johan III and great-granddaughter, Queen Kristina. It was however the great-great-grandson King Karl XI that would spend the most time in Kungsör. He financed the building of the church in 1688. He was also known for the many bear hunts that he arranged here. There are even sources talking about that a move of the capital from Stockholm was under discussion.

A New Era

The royal visits declined in the 18th century. Instead, Kungsör became a strategic shipping port for the area’s goods. A definitive end to the regular royal visits came with the fire of 1822 that resulted in the main estate burning to the ground.

The arrival of the railway in the 1870s added further to the development of new industries. Kungsör became a market town, köping in Swedish, in 1907 and would keep the title until the municipality reforms of 1971. In the 1950s it was described as an industrial community of around 4000 inhabitants.

Things to Do and See

Activities and sights in and around Kungsör are usually either connected with its royal past or with the nature around Lake Mälaren. There are, of course, some additional gems to find.

Kung Karl Kyrka

The Church of King Charles is Kung Karls Kyrka in Swedish. It was initiated by the Swedish king Karl XI in 1688 and was completed in 1700. In memory of the 200 years that had passed since the death of Karl XI in 1697, the church was adorned with a golden crown on its roof in 1897.

Kungsudden

Kungsudden is the location of the old Kungsgård that was founded by Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. After the fire of 1822, there is only one building still standing from the time before that. This building is today housing the local heritage organization and the local museum.

Miniature Kingdom

The miniature kingdom is a miniature railway network in a miniature world that has been inspired by Sweden’s different provinces. Their homepage talks about 25 trains and 600 meters of rail.

Rundelborg

Close to the local heritage museum at Kungsudden is Rundelborg, also known as Queen Kristina’s riding course. It is a small stone labyrinth where the queen practiced riding.

Hiking: Kungsörsleden

Kungsörsleden is a local hiking path in nature around Kungsör. It covers a distance of 25 kilometers split into two loops. The northern loop is around 7 kilometers long and the southern one is around 17 kilometers.

Lake Mälaren

Lake Mälaren is always close by and a perfect stop for anyone looking for a beach or somewhere to go fishing. Beaches include Skillingeudd, Botten, and Ekudden.

How to Get to Kungsör

Flights: The closest airport is Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST), 59 kilometers away, which has mostly low-cost carriers. In addition, there is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 158 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
Car: Kungsör is next to the E20 between Arboga and Eskilstuna.
Bus: Local and regional buses from VL connect Kungsör with the surrounding region.
Train: Mälartåg SJ has trains to Kungsör from and to Arboga, Stockholm, and Örebro.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

Stockholm – 136 kilometers (1h 32min)
Gothenburg – 355 kilometers (4h 19min)
Malmö – 560 kilometers (5h 56min)
Linköping – 143 kilometers (1h 47min)
Kiruna – 1257 kilometers (14h 49min)

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

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