Vadstena during the Middle Ages
The first time Vadstena is mentioned in a text is in 1268. It is the state demesne of Vadstena they write about. It was given away 1346 to the new convent, that Saint Birgitta wanted to create.
Vadstena abbey got many visitors, lots of pilgrims and noblemen. This made the town grow fast on grounds that belonged to the convent.

Town Privilegies
In 1400 Vadstena got town privilegies from Queen Margareta. Now you could more seriously start with commerce, crafts and pilgrim service. It was the abbess, the leader of the abbey, that had asked Queen Margareta for the town privileges.
The abbey owned the ground and the bourgeoisies could rent their building sites from the abbey. The abbey kept the ground along Storgatan and let market halls there. The bourgeois made good money. Shortly after Vadstena became a town the bourgeois built the town hall. Even the town hall had market halls on the bottom floor.

The Castle
In 1545 they started to build Vadstena castle. Dayworkers, soldiers and constructing people meant market and shopping for the city. There were plenty of craftsmen among the bourgeois, seven goldsmiths, gunsmiths and logsmiths who made butts for guns, tile makers etc.

Still an Old Town
During the Nordic seven years wars the Danish burnt and robbed Vadstena twice.
The middle aged street plan is still much the same as it was then. At least from the Red Tower down to the castle. Quite a few stonehouses from the Middle Ages still remain, mostly along Storgatan.

 

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