Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden

Swedish king (1594–1632; regent 1611–32)

Gustav II Adolf (19 December 1594 – 16 November 1632) was the King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632. He is known in English as Gustavus Adolphus.

Gustav II Adolf
King of Sweden
Reign30 October 1611 – 6 November 1632
Coronation12 October 1617
PredecessorCharles IX
Born19 December 1594
Castle Tre Kronor, Sweden
Died16 November 1632(1632-11-16) (aged 37)
Lützen, Electorate of Saxony
Burial22 June 1634
SpouseMaria Eleonora of Brandenburg
HouseHouse of Vasa
FatherCharles IX
MotherChristina of Holstein-Gottorp

He is often said to have made Sweden a great power. (Swedish: Stormaktstiden). He is also said to be one of the best military leaders of all time. Gustav led Sweden to be a military power during the Thirty Years' War and spent most of his reign fighting.

Bust of King Gustav Adolph on campus at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota

Gustavus Adolphus was born in Stockholm. His parents were Charles IX of Sweden and his second wife, Christina of Holstein-Gottorp. When his father died in October 1611, while Gustavus was only 16 years old, he became King of Sweden.

Gustavus married Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg, daughter of John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg. Their daughter Christina later became Queen of Sweden.

In June 1630 he landed in Germany, starting the Swedish fight in the Thirty Year's War on the Anti-Imperial Protestant side, which was losing at the time. With Sweden's help the situation flipped so that the Protestants were winning.

Gustavus died in the Battle of Lützen in 1632 while leading a cavalry attack.

Gustavus Adolphus Day


Gustavus Adolphus Day is on 6 November. Every year it is celebrated in Sweden, Estonia and Finland. On this day only, a special pastry is sold that has a chocolate or marzipan medallion of the king.