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Gustavianum in 2011
EtymologyNamed after Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
General information
LocationUppsala, Sweden
AddressAkademigatan 3
Coordinates59°51′28.6″N 17°37′54.1″E / 59.857944°N 17.631694°E / 59.857944; 17.631694
Current tenantsMuseum Gustavianum
Construction started1622
ClientUppsala University
OwnerStatens fastighetsverk
Design and construction
ArchitectCaspar van Panten (original structure)
Olaus Rudbeck (1662 expansion)

Gustavianum is the oldest standing building of Uppsala University. It was built between 1622 and 1625, and used as the main building of the university between 1778 and 1887. Since 1997 it is used as the university museum of Uppsala University.


During the 16th century, Uppsala University was in decline and by the latter part of the century tutoring had stopped almost entirely. However, during Uppsala Synod in 1593 there was an official decision to re-open the university. Due to the increasing number of students the old medieval university building, Academia Carolina [sv], was no longer able to house the entire university, wherefore a second university structure became necessary.

Gustavianum was built between 1622 and 1625. The name Gustavianum comes from Gustavus Adolphus, who in the 1620s donated money for its construction. The building was designed by the Dutch architect Caspar van Panten [sv] and contained lecture halls, printing halls, and housing for gifted students without means. In 1662, the professor of medicine and polymath Olaus Rudbeck significantly expanded the building by adding another floor, as well as constructing the theatrum anatomicum within a large cupola on its roof.[1] The anatomical theatre is today the second oldest remaining anatomical theatre in the world.

The anatomical theatre was used until the 1750s, when new more modern anatomical facilities were inaugurated in the neighbouring building, Konsistoriehuset. The cupola was instead used as a university library until the construction of the current library Carolina Rediviva in 1841. The cupola was later used as a zoological museum. In 1955, the anatomical theatre was restored according Olaus Rudbecks' original design.[1]

During the 18th century, the building was renovated by the architect Carl Hårleman. After the demolition of Academia Carolina in 1778, Gustavianum was made the main building of the university. It maintained this function until 1887, when the current university hall was inaugurated. Teaching from the institutions of architecture, antiquity and egyptology continued in the building until 1997, when it was rebuilt into a museum.[1]

Museum Gustavianum[edit]

Museum Gustavianum
EstablishedJune 17, 1997; 25 years ago (June 17, 1997)
LocationAkademigatan 3, Uppsala, Sweden
Visitors82 539 (2016)[2]
DirectorMarika Hedin

Museum Gustavianum was inaugurated by King Carl XVI Gustaf on the 17 of June 1997. As the university museum all the exhibited objects are part of the university collections. In 2016 the museum attracted 82 539 visitors.[2]

The museum has five permanent exhibitions:


  1. ^ a b c Gustavianum. The History of the Building. (Retrieved February 21, 2017.)
  2. ^ a b Riksförbundet Sveriges museer (January 13, 2017). ”Landets museer slog nytt besöksrekord 2016”. (Swedish) (Retrieved February 21, 2017)

External links[edit]