Eskilstuna Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsEskilstuna lies on the Eskilstunaå, which links Lake Mälar with Lake Hjälmar to the southwest. Here the two little trading settlements of Tuna and Fors grew up at an early stage. Legend has it that St Eskil, the apostle of Södermanland, was buried in Tuna.IndustryThe beginnings of the ironworking industry in this area go back to the 16th century, and in 1654, at the behest of Charles X Gustavus, a large iron foundry was established at Fors by a Livonian named Reinhold Rademacher. The foundry was designed by Jean de la Vallée, an architect who was also responsible for planning the layout of Eskilstuna. Thereafter numerous steelworks were established.Eskilstuna has become a commuter town for residents to travel to their place of work in greater Stockholm. The city has a combination park and zoo, Parken Zoo, noted for its white tiger population.
In the center of Eskilstuna is the Fristadstorg, with the Town Hall (1897), a fountain ("The Honor and Joy of Labor") by Ivar Johnson and a piece of sculpture ("The Smiths") by Allan Ebeling. The monastic church on the other side of the square was designed by Otar Hökerberg (1929).
Nearby the Fristadstorg in Eskilstuna is the Fors Church, which dates from the 12th century, with later alterations and restorations; notable features of the interior are the unusual wood sculpture and the coats of arms.
The six best preserved of Reinhold Rademacher's forges are at Rademachergatan 50 in Eskilstuna. Two are now museums; the others are occupied by various craftsmen. There are also displays illustrating the town's modern industries, particularly cutlery, for which Eskilstuna is renowned.
Worth seeing in Eskilstuna is the Museum of Technology (Faktorimuseet), which illustrates the history of technology (coining press). The Museum of Art displays modern Swedish art.
Zoo and Leisure Park
South of Eskilstuna, on the shores of Lake Hjälmar, lies Hedlandet, a nature reserve in good walking country. In Malmköping, to the south-east, is an unusual Tramway Museum.
East of Eskilstuna on E 3 is the little town of Strängnäs (pop. 26,000), founded in the 13th century. Here in 1523 Gustavus Vasa was chosen as king. The old mill and harbor with windmill are highlights of the town. The building of the Cathedral extended from the end of the 13th century to the end of the 15th, when it was finally completed by Bishop Rogge. The ceiling paintings in the nave date from the 14th century, the paintings in the choir from the 15th. The reredos on the high altar (1490), depicting the Annunciation and the Last Judgment, with a profusion of figures, was carved in Brussels. In front of the altar, to the left, is the magnificent gilded armor of Charles IX, whose tomb is in the cathedral. Among other monuments is that of Isabella, daughter of John III. On the walls of the cathedral and in front of it can be seen runic stones from the surrounding area.Near the cathedral are the medieval Consistory House and the Paulinska Hus, built for Laurentius Paulinus Gothus, bishop of Strängnäs from 1609 to 1637. The 17th century printing press which once belonged to the cathedral is now in the Municipal Museum (Strängnäs Museum). It is also worth looking in at the Grassagård, an old craftsman's workshop (open in summer).Although Strängnäs is now mainly the administrative and cultural center of the surrounding area, it has preserved an old-world charm with its narrow streets and red-painted wooden houses. Many of the residents of Strängnäs commute to Stockholm, Södertälje or Eskilstuna.