Stavsjö is a small locality in Nyköping Municipality in Södermanland County, located in eastern Sweden at the shores of Lake Stavsjön. The locality has a long history as a rest area for travelers with both the E4, the main road through the area, and the railway once passing through its center. Today the railway is gone and the E4 has been moved to a new route further away. Today the locality is home to around 210 inhabitants as well as the old industrial site known as Stavsjö Bruk which was founded in 1666. They all live almost at the border between the provinces of Södermanland and Östergötland.
A Short History of Stavsjö
Stavsjö Bruk was founded in 1666 and was initially manufacturing canons. The production of artillery was ongoing up until 1859. Afterward, the production at the plant consisted of boilers, engines, and threshers for a few decades. The production of valves began in the 1880s and it became the focus of the plant up until the modern day.
Stavsjö shared a similar fate as Trosa and other coastal towns during the Russian Pillage of 1719. Most of the company town was burned down and only one single building was spared. Stavsjö and its industry were rebuilt. It took until the end of the 19th century before Stavsjö faced a new disaster of that magnitude. That disaster was a moth, more specifically the Black Arches. The moth devastated a large area of pine forest around Stavsjö between 1898 and 1902.
The moth invasion actually resulted in the creation of Stavsjö Railway, a railway that had its single purpose of transporting the large amount of timber that was the result of the desperate logging that was the consequence of the moth’s attack on the many pine trees. The railway was in operation until 1939 and was nicknamed “Nunnebanan” after the Swedish name for the moths – Barrskogsnunna.
Things to Do and See
For many Stavsjö is the rest area along the highway E4. All that is required to change that view is to drive a short distance further from the road and discover the industrial heritage of the area and especially Lake Stavsjön. For many this is where it is possible to find alternative accommodation when visiting the Kolmården Wildlife Park, which is a short drive away.
A short distance outside of the locality you will find the E4 and the rest area Stavsjö Krog. This is where most of the visitors to the area end up, either for a meal at the restaurant or to fill up with gas. This is also where you can find a playground. It is not an attraction in itself, but it is the gateway to Stavsjö for anyone daring to look further from the main road.
Lake Stavsjön is visible from most of the locality. The lake is known for its crayfish fishing, but there is also a small sandy beach at its northeastern shore for anyone wanting to swim. Along its southern shores, there is a small peninsula known as Slaggudden that offers some great views of the lake.
How to Get to Stavsjö
- Flights: The nearest airport is Norrköping Airport (NRK) 36 kilometers to the southwest. Sweden’s largest airport, Stockholm Arlanda (ARN), is 176 kilometers to the northeast.
- Car: Stavsjö is along Road E4 between Norrköping and Nyköping.
- Bus: Buses from Sörmlandstrafiken connect Stavsjö with the surrounding area.
- Train: There is a train station in nearby Krokek.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 138 kilometers (1 h 25 min)
- Gothenburg – 334 kilometers (3 h 20 min)
- Malmö – 478 kilometers (4 h 50 min)
- Linköping – 65 kilometers (45 min)
- Kiruna – 1369 kilometers (14 h 20 min)