The port of Vastervik, on the coast of Smaland, is one of the most attractive examples of the old wooden 18th c.towns of Sweden. There are ferry services from here to the island of Gotland.
SIGHTS. St Gertrude's Church (1 5th c.) has fine wall paintings and an altar by the Swedish Baroque master, Burchardt Precht (1651 1738).
The Cederflychtska Fattighus (literally the poor house), by Carl HSrleman, 1749-51, is a handsome home for the poor which led a contemporary historian to remark, In Vastervik the poor live better than the rich.
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Near here is Aspagarden, the oldest house in the town, now occupied by three craftsmen. In Fiskaretorg visitors can sample the local fish specialties, and in the nearby Batmansgrand is a row of little red seamen's houses recalling the days when Vastervik was a town of seafarers.
Not far away are the ruins of Stegeholm Castle (14th c.), which in recent years has been the home of an annual song festival. The Slottsholmen summer restaurant is also here. On the hill of Kulbacken, from which there is a fine view of the town, is the Provincial Museum (Tjustbygden), with collections of historical material and handicrafts as well as a seafaring section.
– 3 km (2 miles) E of the middle of the town is the Lysingsbad recreation area. One ofthe great attractions of Vastervik is its girdle of skerries, a scatter of some 5000 small islets.