Karl Johan Park
To the south of the Norrköping railroad station lies the Karl Johan Park, with a fine collection of cacti. In the park is a monument (by Schwanthaler, 1846) to King Carl XIV Johan (Bernadotte). Facing the park stands the Town House. Near the station is the neo-Gothic St Matthew's Church (1892).
Statue of Karl XIV Johan in Norrköping
Charles XIV & III John (Swedish: Karl XIV Johan), born Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, later renamed Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernadotte (26 January 1763 – 8 March 1844) was King of Sweden (as Charles XIV John) and King of Norway (as Karl III Johan) from 1818 until his death. He was also the first Sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo, Italy.
French by birth, Bernadotte served a long career in the French Army. He was appointed as a Marshal of France by Napoleon I, though the two had a turbulent relationship. His service to France ended in 1810, when he was elected the heir to the Swedish throne: the Swedish royal family was dying out because both the legitimate children of King Charles XIII had died in infancy.
Early life and family
Line of descendants
* Charles XIV John, King of Sweden
From 2 July to 14 September he was Minister of War, in which capacity he displayed great ability. He declined to help Napoleon Bonaparte stage his coup d'état of November 1799, but nevertheless accepted employment from the Consulate, and from April 1800 to 18 August 1801 commanded the army in the Vendée.
Offer of the Swedish throne
Crown Prince and Regent
On 2 November Bernadotte made his solemn entry into Stockholm, and on 5 November he received the homage of the Riksdag of the Estates, and he was adopted by King Charles XIII under the name of ‘Charles John’ (Carl Johan). The new Crown Prince was very soon the most popular and most powerful man in Sweden. The infirmity of the old King and the dissensions in the Privy Council of Sweden placed the government, and especially the control of foreign affairs, entirely in his hands. The keynote of his whole policy was the acquisition of Norway and Bernadotte proved anything but a puppet of France. In 1813, he allied Sweden with Napoleon's enemies, Great Britain and Prussia, of the Sixth Coalition, in order to secure this. After the defeats at Lützen (2 May 1813) and Bautzen (21 May 1813), it was the Swedish Crown Prince who put fresh fighting spirit into the Allies; and at the conference of Trachenberg he drew up the general plan for the campaign which began after the expiration of the Truce of Plaswitz. Charles John, as the Commander-in-Chief of the Northern Army, successfully defended the approaches to Berlin against Oudinot in August and against Ney in September at the Battles of Grossbeeren and Dennewitz; but after the Battle of Leipzig he went his own way, determined at all hazards to cripple Denmark and to secure Norway, defeating the Danes at Bornhöved in December.
As the union King, Charles XIV John, who succeeded to that title on 5 February 1818 following the death of Charles XIII, was initially popular in both countries. Upon his accession he converted from Roman Catholicism to the Lutheranism of the Swedish court. He would never learn to speak Swedish or Norwegian, though this did not pose a serious obstacle to his rule, since French was widely spoken by all of the aristocracy of the time.
Charles XIV John's reign witnessed the completion of the southern Göta Canal, begun 22 years earlier, to link Lake Vänern to the sea at Söderköping 180 miles to the east. Though his ultra-conservative views were unpopular, particularly from 1823 onwards, his dynasty never faced serious danger. Swedes and Norwegians alike were proud of a monarch with a good European reputation. Though the Riksdag of the Estates of 1840 meditated compelling him to supposedly abdicate, he survived that controversy, and his silver jubilee was celebrated with great enthusiasm in 1843.
Charles XIV John was the 909th Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Spain and the 28th Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword.
Charles XIV John died in Stockholm on 8 March 1844. His reign was one of uninterrupted peace, during which his kingdoms experienced great material development. He was succeeded by his son, Oscar I of Sweden and Norway. Oscar's mother was Désirée Clary, Napoleon Bonaparte's first fiancée. Her sister, Julie Clary, was married to Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte. Désirée chose Napoleon to be prince Oscar's godfather.
The main street of Oslo, Karl Johans gate is named for him, while the Fortress of Karlsborg (Karlsborgs fästning) located in Karlsborg Municipality (Karlsborgs kommun) in Västra Götaland, was named by him after Charles XIII, his adoptive father.
During the French Revolution, Bernadotte belonged for a time to the Jacobin Club, a radical political organization. According to a popular myth, after his death a tattoo was supposedly found on his body that read Mort aux rois! (‘Death to kings!’), presumably a legacy of his Jacobin days. However, no evidence has been found to confirm this.
Note on the name Charles XIV John
Coat of Arms Norrköping Sweden
Norrköping is a city in the province of Östergötland in eastern Sweden and the seat of Norrköping Municipality, Östergötland County. The city has a population of 83,561 inhabitants in 2005, out of a municipal total of 127,059, making it Sweden's tenth largest city and eighth largest municipality.
The city is situated by the mouth of the river Motala ström, at Bråviken, an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Water power from the Motala ström and the good harbour were factors that facilitated the rapid growth of this once industrial city, known for its textile industry. It has several nicknames such as: ‘Sweden's Manchester’ , ‘Peking’ and ‘Surbullestan’ (Surbulle was a local nickname for the textileworkers, and stan´ is short for Staden, which means The City or The Town in Swedish)
The first trace of the city's name is from 1283, when Sofia of Denmark - wife of Valdemar I of Sweden - donated her rights of salmon fishing to the Skänninge monastery. The town is estimated to have received city status in the early 14th century, although no written documents exist prior to a document from 1384. This document, signed by Albrekt of Sweden is stored in the city archive today.
The city was the location of several battles in the ensuing centuries. As a consequence, nothing of the medieval Norrköping remains today. During the Northern Seven Years' War (1563-1570), the entire southern part of Norrköping was burnt. It was rebuilt by John III of Sweden ,who designed the current street pattern.
In 1618, a weapon industry was established by supervision of Gustavus Adolphus. The harbour also attracted ships due to its proximity to the industries of Finspång. In addition to the weapon industry, a large scale industry of textile was also initiated. An important benefactor was the industrial man Louis De Geer (1587-1652). At De Geer's death, Norrköpings had 6,000 inhabitants and was Sweden's second largest city.
The city again burnt in 1655, and again in 1719 during the Great Northern War when the Russians burnt it to the ground. Stones from the Johannisborg castle were used to build new houses, and today only a few stones remain.
During the 18th century it was rebuilt and several industries soon got a stronghold: In the 1740s, Norrköping boosted three sugar refineries; in the 1750s the large scale influential snuff industry was established. From this time stems the city churches of Saint Olof and Saint Hedvig, and several other old houses. Motala ström runs through Norrköping
Norrköping's importance again flourished. In 1769 the Swedish Riksdag assembled there. In 1800 the king Gustav IV of Sweden was crowned in the Church of Saint Olof.
The city again suffered fires in 1822 and 1826. Thereafter wooden houses were banned. In 1841 a ship industry was initiated as a branch of Motala Verkstad in Motala. In 1850 the industry had over 600 employees making it Sweden's largest ship industry at the time. During the remaining 19th century, the industries kept expanding. The area by the Motala Stream was developed further with the construction of a cotton refinery, and a paper mill was constructed in 1854, specializing in newspaper, and is still today exporting to customers around the world.
The industry, including textile manufacturers, also expanded into the 20th century. In 1950 a total of 54 factories had 6,600 employees in town. By 1956, however, 18 of them had been closed due to competition from countries abroad with lower wages, such as Italy and Japan. In 1970 only 10 factories and 1,200 employees remained. In that year, the renowned Holmen paper mill, with its 350 years long history, announced closure, and another 900 people were let go. To counter the effects, several governmental authorities were relocated to Norrköping from Stockholm. See also Braviken Paper Mill.
As of 2002, Norrköping is now seeing a revival, as a center of culture and education. The Norrköping symbol represents the ‘new’ Norrköping.
Within a stone’s throw from the shops, there is a nice parade alongside Strömmen, the so called river that flows through the city. In connection to this nice parade is the industrial landscape. This is the place where the old textile industries once where situated.
In the summer, there is a cactus plantation in Carl Johans Park. 25 000 cactuses are planted there every summer.
What is really worth visiting is Kolmårdens Djurpark. That is a zoo located 30 km north of Norrköping. Almost all animals can be seen there. In connection to the big outdoor zoo, there is also Tropicariet an aquarium, where for example snakes, crocodiles and sharks can be seen.
The archipelago 50 km away from Norrköping is worth a visit. There are the opportunities to bath, rent a kayak or go by the ferries between the different islands, such as S:t Anna or Gryt.
If you are visiting Norrköping in the winter, Yxbacken offers downhill skiing.
Twin cities: Esslingen, Germany; Klaksvík, Faroe Islands; Kópavogur, Iceland; Linz, Austria; Odense, Denmark; Riga, Latvia; Tampere, Finland; Trondheim, Norway; New York, USA
Coat of Arms Östergötland Sweden
Östergötland is a one of the traditional provinces of Sweden (landskap in Swedish) in the south of Sweden. It borders Småland, Västergötland, Närke, Södermanland, and the Baltic Sea. In older English literature one may also encounter the Latinized version Ostrogothia.
Outside the eastern shore of Östergötland lies an archipelago, the islands and islets of which cover an area of 118 km². The Bråviken bay continues further into the country. Some of the more notable islands are Korsö, Gränsö, Arkö, Djursö, Yxnö, Finnö, Emtö, Fångö and Stora Ålö.
Traditionally, the region is divided into two halves, east and west of the river Stångån, which flows from the south into lake Roxen at Linköping.
The eastern part of Göta Canal traverses the province from the Baltic sea at Mem to lake Vättern at Motala.
* Highest mountain: Stenabohöjden 327 meters
Today, the largest city in the province is Linköping, with Norrköping second. Skänninge is of virtually no importance; Mjölby is also small. An additional town without a royal charter that has emerged in the 20th century is Finspång.
The traditions of Östergötland date back into the viking age, the undocumented Iron Age, and earlier, when this region had its own laws and kings (see Geatish kings and Wulfings). The region kept its own laws, the Östgötalagen, into the Middle Ages. Östergötland belonged to the Christian heartland of late Iron Age and early medieval Sweden. The Sverker and Bjälbo dynasties played pivotal roles in the consolidation of Sweden.
The province has about 50,000 ancient remains of different kinds. 1,749 are for instance grave fields.
Industry was formerly most significant in the cities of Norrköping (industries include Ericsson), Linköping (where SAAB have air craft industries where the Gripen fighter is produced) Finspång (metal works), and Motala (mechanical industries) .
Dukes of Östergötland
Swedish Princes have been created Dukes of various provinces. In English, the title ‘Duke of Östergötland’ is sometimes given as Duke of Ostrogothia. This is solely a nominal title.
* Prince Magnus
Vreta Abbey was the first convent to be established in Sweden, dating from the early 12th century, while Vadstena Abbey was the dominant convent in Medieval Sweden. Notable is also the ruins of the Alvastra Abbey near Omberg and Tåkern.
The cathedral in Linköping is the second largest church in Sweden and is very well-preserved from the Middle Age.
The Göta Canal crosses the province with several locks and the Kinda Canal connects the lakes in the southern parts of the province with the central plains.
Övralid Manor was the last home of Nobel Prize laureate Verner von Heidenstam 1925-1940.
There are several museums in all parts of the province, for example the Swedish Broadcasting Museum and the Motala Motor Museum.
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