Torshälla is a former town in the north-western part of Södermanland, close to the shores of Lake Mälaren with which is connected via the river Torshällaån. This 700-year old town is one of the oldest in the province and in Sweden. Even though it today is a part of a municipality with its center in the younger and much larger city of Eskilstuna, the little town still has a lot to show.
A Short History of Torshälla
Early on, Torshälla was a part of the Rekarne area in north-western Södermanland. It received its town privileges in 1317 by the Swedish King Birger Magnusson, making it one of the oldest towns in Sweden.
The town dominated the trade in this part of Södermanland during most of the 17th century. It was especially the trade of iron between the mines in Bergslagen and the ironworks in Södermanland that became important for Torshälla’s development. It wasn’t until 1659 that the competition from nearby and newly-founded Eskilstuna began. With several developments, such as canals that improved the opportunities for Eskilstuna, it was eventually a devastating fire in Torshälla in 1798 that was the final nail in the coffin and Eskilstuna became the main town in the region.
Torshälla was incorporated in Eskilstuna Municipality during the municipality reforms of 1971. This has remained unchanged, even though its independence was a question for the ballots in the election of 2006. The vote ended with a majority wanting to stay within the current Eskilstuna Municipality.
Things to Do and See
With its historical center, it is easy to enjoy a walk in the historical setting. In addition, there are a few more places of interest to explore in Torshälla. And once you run out of local options, an excursion to Eskilstuna is within reach.
This is the old courthouse dating back to 1833 that once also included the local jail. Its clock was originally a part of the cathedral in Strängnäs but it was donated to the church in Torshälla in 1580. The clock was finally added to the courthouse in 1837.
With its older parts dating back to the 12th century, there are few buildings in the area that are older than the church in Torshälla. However, it has been extended and rebuilt a few times during the centuries.
The church tower was once, after reconstruction in the early 17th century, one of the tallest buildings in Sweden with a height of almost 80 meters. Some sources even suggest that it could have been as high as 102 meters. The tower was, however, badly damaged in a fire in 1873 and has since never reached the same height.
Along the rapids of the river Torshällaån, is the old mill. The mill here was built in 1628 by the Swedish crown. The end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th saw several reconstructions of the mill and its modernization. Today it houses the public library and space for exhibitions.
Bergströmska gården is a homestead dating back to the 18th century. It is today home to the local heritage museum that exhibits objects, photos, and stories from the past.
The Ebeling Museum is the local art gallery exhibiting the work of the local artist Allan Ebeling. Ebeling was born in 1897 in New York and came to Torshälla in the 1930s. He passed away in 1975. The museum also has paintings made of his daughter Marianne Ebeling.
Nyby Park is a green area adjacent to the Nyby Manor. The park was established in the 1830s by a man named Adolf Zethelius. It follows the steam Nybyån, which is an old canal.
Krusgård Park is a recreational park north of the center. The parks include an outdoor gym, a playground, and several other places for outdoor activities.
Ekbacken Nature Reserve
To the south of Torshälla is Ekbacken Nature Reserve. It was established in 2010 and covers around six hectares of forest. It is especially famous for its 200-year-old oaks.
How to Get to Torshälla
- Flights: The closest airport is Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST), 48 kilometers away, which has mostly low-cost carriers. In addition, there is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 144 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
- Car: Torshälla is close to E20, next to Eskilstuna.
- Bus: Local and regional buses from Sörmlandstrafiken connect Torshälla with the surrounding region.
- Train: The closest train station is in Eskilstuna, where Mälartåg SJ has trains from and to Arboga, Stockholm, and Örebro.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
- Stockholm – 117 kilometers (1h 22min)
- Gothenburg – 378 kilometers (4h 37min)
- Malmö – 572 kilometers (6h 10min)
- Linköping – 155 kilometers (2h 3min)
- Kiruna – 1247 kilometers (14h 39min)