Vaxjo, main town of the province of Kronoberg, lies at the N end of Lake Vaxjo. There was a trading station here in the Iron Age and in Viking times. In the 12th c. it also became a
religious focal point when its first church was built by St Sigfrid, a missionary from England, now the town’s patron saint. Long predominantly a garrison town and episcopal see, Vaxjo has developed within recent years into a lively industrial and educational town, with modern buildings and a wide range of recreation facilities.
SIGHTS. The 12th c. Cathedral, after undergoing much alteration in subsequent centuries, was given its present appearance in a restoration carried out in 1959. It has modern stained glass by Jan Brazda, Bo BeskQW, Elis Lundquist and Erik Hoglund. The organ-case dates from 1779. Under the tower is an interesting exhibition of the church’s treasures. Near the Cathedral is the Karolinska Gymnasium, a grammar school at which Linnaeus, Per Henrik Ling and Peter Wieselgren were pupils. The Bishop’s Palace, Ostrabo (1797), was the residence of the poet Bishop Esaias Tegner until his death in 1846. There is a statue of Tegner in the gardens by the Cathedral.
On a hill to the S of the station is the Smciland Museum, with an art collection, coins and medals, and a glass collection illustrating the history of glass-making in Sweden and abroad. Utvan-drarnas Hus, the Emigrants’ House (1968), contains an exhibition on the theme, The Dream of America, archives and a library devoted to the emigration movement in the second half of the 19th
c. when 200,000 Smaland people left the country. Here is the source material for Vilhelm Moberg’s great novel, The Emigrants. 5 km (3 miles) from the middle of the town are the ruins of Kronoberg Castle, on the Helgasjo; originally an episcopal residence, it later became the property of the Crown (KungsgSrd). Near the castle is Ryttmastaregarden, an old officer’s house which has been transferred to this site.
SURROUNDINGS. To the N ofthe town lies a large area of forests and lakes. There are medieval churches at Drew, Dadesjd and Sjosas. On Lake Orken is Braas Hembygdspark. From the lookout tower at Tolg there are beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
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