Churches of the parish of Vadstena and Dal

Vadstena Abbey church

Vadstena Abbey church. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

In 1346 King Magnus Eriksson and Queen Blanka testamented their royal palace from about 1260 for the foundation of a royal burial church with an adjoining monastery. At the same time, Birgitta Birgersdotter received revelations in which God gave her the task of establishing a new monastic order based in Vadstena. In the end, Birgitta's vision became reality and Vadstena became the Mother Monastery of the Order of the Most Holy Savior and Birgitta respectively.

In the revelations of St. Birgitta there are detailed regulations on how the monastery and church should be built. The church was to be simple, humble and strong, a hall church with three naves of equal height, fifteen cross vaults without painted windows, with whitewashed interior walls. Limestone from the quarry in Borghamn, south of Vadstena, was used as construction material.

The monastery was built as part of a awakening movement, and the monastery were designed to accommodate visitors from near and far. In order to make room for a large, open meeting place, the church received its entrance in the east with the high altar in the west, completely contrary to ecclesiastical custom. The pilgrims had access to the church corridor, while the nuns' choir was located on a gallery in the nave. The monks had their choir in the western part of the church. The monastery was consecrated in 1384 and the church in 1430.

In the church there are several mediaeval objects, among them several altars and the two best-known Birgitta statues, the "realistic" and the "visionary" Birgitta. Birgitta's reliquary contains remains of both Birgitta and her daughter Katarina.

Guided tours for pre-booked groups
Guided tours of Vadstena Abbey church are available throughout the year during opening hours, also in combination with other guided tours, e.g. city walks, Birgitta walks, guided tours of the Sancta Birgitta Abbey Museum, and more. You can find out more under Boka en guide.


Grabmal des Herzog Magnus. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Reliqienschrein der Klosterkirche. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Opening hours
1 June 2022 - 31 August 2022
Monday-Friday 08.00-19.00
Saturday and Sunday 09.00-19.00
Midsummer Eve
Midsummer Day
1 September 2022 - 31 May 2023
Monday-Thursday 08.00-16.00
Friday 08.00-19.00
Saturday and Sunday 10.00-16.00
Birgitta Day 7. October
Holidays and days before holidays (Christmas, New Year, Three Wise Men)

30 kr (except for church services, prayers)

Monday-Friday in the Abbey church
08.00 Pilgrim's Mass (Wednesday week's Mass)
09.00 Laudes (morning prayer)
12.00 Sext (noon prayer)
15.00 Vesper (afternoon prayer) until 31/3 16.00 Vesper (afternoon prayer) from 1/4

Saturday in the Abbey church
08.00 Pilgrim's Mass
09.00 Laudes (morning prayer)

Nässja church

Nässja church. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The church of Nässja belongs to the churches of the western Östergötland, which was probably built on the initiative of a local "Storman" gender ("nobility", noble family in the Viking period and the beginning of the Middle Ages). The church is situated in an open, agricultural landscape on a long point of land in Lake Vättern, which forms the western shore of the bay of Vadstena.

Opening hours
1 May - 31 August
Daily 9.00-18.00

Örberga church

Örberga church. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

One of Sweden's oldest churches is situated on a hill with fantastic views over the Vättern, Västergötland and the surrounding countryside. In 2016 the Örberga church celebrated its 900th anniversary with art, music, lectures and services.

Opening hours
1 May - 31 August
Daily 9.00-18.00

Herrestad's church

Herrestads church. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

Herrestad was mentioned in writing as a medieval village as early as 1208. The first church at this place was probably built of wood. In 1112 the present building of the church was built from limestone. Herrestad's church is the oldest church in Vadstena and Dal and one of the oldest church buildings in Sweden.

Opening hours
1 May - 31 August
Daily 9.00-18.00

Källstads church

Källstads church. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The church of Källstad on the plain near the Tåkern still has its medieval church tower, but was rebuilt in 1868-69. The original church and tower were built in the 12th century on private initiative. Due to its good acoustics, Källstad's church is well suited for concerts.

Opening hours
1 May - 31 August
Daily 9.00-18.00

Rogslösa church

Rogslösa church. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The church was built at the beginning of the 13th century as a private church of the only manor in Rogslösa and replaced a former wooden church. It is mainly known for its entrance portal with the so-called Rogslösa door.

Amongst others, Lydia Wahlström (1869-1954), an active member of the Swedish voting rights and women's movement, the majority of the "incomparable" sisters of Häckenäs and Jonas Andersson, a member of the parliament from Häckenäs, co-founder of Östgöta Dals and Östergötland's Folk High School, are buried in the cemetery.

Opening hours
1 May - 31 August
Daily 9.00-18.00

Väversunda church

Väversunda church. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

A romanesque and well-preserved medieval church from about 1160, built of Ombergs limestone. The predecessor was probably a stave church.

Opening hours
1 May - 31 August
Daily 9.00-18.00

Church of Strå

Church of Strå. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The church of Strå, a few kilometres south of Vadstena and with a wide view over the plains and town, was originally built in the 12th century and received its characteristic spire in 1771 from Mårten Beurling. It has been rebuilt several times inside.

Opening hours
28 June - 31 August
Daily 10.00-17.00

Hov's church

Hovs church. Photo: Bernd Beckmann

The church in Hov was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest churches in the vicinity.

Opening hours
1 June - 31 August
Daily 10.00-17.00