Gustav Adolf Square

Some of Gothenburg’s most important buildings and a statue of a 19th-century king adorn this formal-looking town square.

Gustav Adolf Square, along the canal, is a good point for a coffee or lunch break in between sightseeing excursions. The stately square is overlooked by the fine architecture of Gothenburg City Hall and nearby law court. The red brick paving, interspersed with geometric designs and the neat facades of the buildings surrounding the square create a pleasant setting to relax for a while. 

Gustav Adolf Square was originally known as Stortorget, which translates literally as “big square,” but was renamed when the large statue of King Gustavus II Adolphus was erected in 1854. Known by many as the Golden King, Adolphus led Sweden to victory in the 30 Years’ War. You can see his imperial figure, a replica statue, standing proudly in the center of the square, pointing to the ground with one hand. The statue is said to represent the moment when he proclaimed: “This is where the city shall be.” 

The square is surrounded by major city streets. In the north is Köpmansgatan, Norra Hamngatan is to the south, Östra Hamngatan lies east and Torggatan flanks the west side.

Look past the statue and admire the many arches of the City Hall. Formerly the Gothenburg Stock Exchange, this building opened in 1849 and is a fine example of neo-Classical architecture, with its neat arches and colonnades. It incorporates an 18th-century townhouse built for a former city councilor. During the week, you’ll see formally dressed council workers walk in and out of the building, as the City Hall is still in use as a municipal administrative building.

Also noteworthy are the law courts designed by the renowned architect Gunnar Asplund. Nearby, the Dutch-style Kronhuset dates back to 1643 and is the oldest house in the city. In stark contrast to this heritage building, which is now a museum, stands the shining glass of the massive, modern shopping center behind the square, the Nordstan retail complex. 

Gustav Adolf Square is centrally located and can be reached on foot from all attractions and hotels in central Gothenburg.

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