Gustav II Adolf, King of Sweden

King Gustav II Adolf

When Karl IX died in 1611, Gustav Adolf was seventeen years old. Despite this, he was declared to have reached majority and became king. He married Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg in 1620 in Stockholm.

During Gustav Adolf's rein, the state administration was modernised in partnership with Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna.

In 1629, the year after the sinking of the royal ship Vasa, it was decided that Sweden would intervene in the Thirty Years' War and the campaign began the following year. Following a decisive victory at Breitenfeldt, Gustav II Adolf became the leader of the Protestants.

On 6 November 1632 his luck in battle came to an end, and he was killed at Lützen aged 38.

Gustav II Adolf managed to end the wars with Denmark, Russia and Poland that he inherited from his father.

Gustav II Adolf. Unknown artist. The painting hangs at Gripsholm Castle, and is part of the Swedish State Portrait Collection. Photo: Nationalmuseum

Gustav II Adolf

Born 9 December 1594, died 6 November 1632
Reign 1611–1632

Royal motto

With God and arms victorious


1617 Uppsala Cathedral


1634 Riddarholmen Church


Karl IX




Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg


Stillborn daughter (1621)
Kristina (1623–1624)
Stillborn son (1625)
Kristina (1626–1689), Queen of Sweden 1632–1654

The Vasa dynasty