Västerås Castle

Vasa castle and prison

Västerås Castle, which lies at the mouth of the River Svartån, dates from the thirteenth century. At that time the town was the most important shipping port for Bergslagen, and a stronghold was needed, both for protection and as a residence for the king's sheriff. Therefore a keep was built where the Svartån flows into Lake Mälaren. The keep had four floors, the top one with windows for firing arrows or throwing stones from. The keep still remains in the north-eastern corner of the present-day castle.

Västerås was involved in bloody conflicts and the castle was extended and reinforced again and again. In 1522 it was captured by Gustav Vasa after being under siege since 1521.

Gustav Vasa often stayed at Västerås Castle, and the important parliaments of 1527 and 1544 were held in the town. In 1736 the castle burned down and all the furnishings from the Vasa era were destroyed. The castle was repaired and built up in the mid-1740s.

The castle also functioned as a prison. The best-known prisoner at the castle was Erik XIV, who was imprisoned there from 1573 until 1574.

Today the castle contains the county governor's residence.


  • WC
  • Elevator
  • Wheelchair ramp
  • Café
  • Parking