Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
|Reign||October 30, 1611-November 6, 1632
(Government from December, 1611)
|Coronation||October 12, 1617|
|Royal motto||"Cum Deo et victribus armis"|
("With God and victorious arms")
|Queen||Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg|
|Predecessor||Charles IX of Sweden|
|Successor||Christina of Sweden|
|Date of Birth||December 9, 1594|
|Place of Birth||Stockholm|
|Date of Death||November 6, 1632|
|Place of Death||Battle of Lützen (Germany)|
|Date of Burial||June 22, 1634|
|Place of Burial||Riddarholmskyrkan, Stockholm|
Gustavus Adolphus is the Latin name form of Swedish king Gustav II Adolph or Gustav II Adolf in Swedish. He is also known as Gustav Adolph the Great.
He was the king of Sweden from 1611, and as such one of the major players in the Thirty Years' War where he was styled as "The Lion of the North - Savior of Protestants". Gustav Adolf was married to the daughter of the elector of Brandenburg-Prussia, Maria Eleonora and chose Prussia's city of Elbing as base for his operations in Germany. He died in battle on November 6, 1632 at Lützen in Germany.
During his reign, Gustav founded the city of Gothenburg as well as a number of smaller cities. He is also the founder of the University of Dorpat in Tartu (Dorpat), Estonia, which then belonged to the kingdom of Sweden. In this time, the three biggest cities in the kingdom were Riga (now the capital of Latvia), Stockholm and Tallinn (now the capital of Estonia).
As a general, Gustav is famous for employing mobile artillery on the battlefield, as well as a very active tactic where attack was stressed over defense and mobility more important than in the usual linear tactic.
This was only part of the reason why Carl von Clausewitz and Napoleon Bonaparte idolized him as the general above all others. His character both of purpose and of amity with all his troops from commanding officers right down to the rank and file, earned him unassailably documented fame which most commanders in chief would gladly accept as mere joking anecdotes.
The king was an active participant in the battles, and was wounded several times, amongst them gunshot wounds to the throat and the abdomen. The war wounds led the king to adopt a flexible armour of hide instead of the customary metal cuirass, and this is what he wore in the Battle of Lützen. Gustav's armour is currently on display in Livrustkammaren in the Swedish royal palace.
Gustav was killed in the renowned Battle of Lützen where he was misled by dense fog and poor eyesight to charge into an enemy formation. After his death, his wife Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg initially kept his body, and later his heart, in her bedroom for the rest her life. He now rests (including heart) in Riddarholmskyrkan in Stockholm.
Following the death of the great king the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates decided that his name would be accompanied by an accolade and that his name was to be styled Gustav Adolph the Great or Gustav Adolf den Store, in Swedish. An honor which has not been bestowed on anyone else since.
Maria Eleonora and Gustav Adolph's daughter Christina of Sweden took over the government upon her father's death.
Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle at Breitenfield (1631)
A history of Adolphus' wars was written by Johann Philipp Abelin.
The Day of Gustav Adolph is observed each year on November 6 in Sweden. On this day a special pastry, with a chocolate medallion the king, is sold. The day is also an official flag day in the Swedish calendar.
|List of Swedish monarchs||Succeeded by:|