Monday, 13 April 2015

Episode 19: Johan III and Sigismund

Johan III said himself that what he liked most of all was to build. And he did. He renovated or rebuilt most of the royal castles in Sweden. The castle in Stockholm became larger, more modern and gained it's name "Three crowns" during his reign when the central tower was decorated with three copper crowns. Another thing Johan liked was catholisism. Not that he himself was a catholic - though his wife and son were - but he wished for a reconciliation with the pope and a return to at least some catholic practices in Sweden. This was violently opposed by Johans younger brother Karl, as well as by large parts of the clergy.

When Johan died in 1592 his son Sigismund inherited the throne. Sigismund was by then already king of Poland and lived there. He was also a caltholic, something that cause worry in Sweden. The fact that he resided in Poland was not liked either. After years of struggle between Sigismund and his uncle, duke Karl, the latter finally defeated Sigismund in 1598. Sigismund had to say goodbye to his Swedish throne, and duke Karl took over as king.

The castle in Stockholm, "Three Crowns" in the 17th century.