The Linnaeus anniversary gives us the opportunity to have a closer look at 18th century architecture and see how inspiration from Europe blended with local traditions and the availability of building materials. Following Carl Linnaeus' footsteps to places where he has lived or studied can bring us closer to the period in which he lived. The locations are beautiful, but the visitor will also gain insight into the hard work of farming life.
Nils Linnaeus was appointed as priest to the parish of Stenbrohult in Småland in 1705 and moved to Råshult. His son Carl was born in 1707 in a house that probably lay perpendicular to the current Linnéstugan ("Linnaeus Cottage"). The farm was destroyed in a fire, and the current cottage was built at the end of the 18th century. Archaeologists carried out an excavation of the site in 2004 and found traces of several buildings that were arranged around an open stone square.
The land around the farm has been restored and has the appearance that it had during the time of Linnaeus. Hay was grown or treated in the infields. Fences protected the infields from animals - these were allowed to graze on the outer fields. The landscape is on a small scale, with small fields, forest grazing and meadows. The fields are small and stony, and the principal crops are old races of barley, oats, rye and flax. The meadows are cultivated using the techniques of old. The deciduous trees have a particular shape that is caused by "lopping". This is the process in which each year's new growth is cut and used as winter feed, fuel or for craftwork. No artificial fertilizers are used, and this increases biological diversity. Many wild flowers are found in the area, including the marsh gentian, heath lousewort, milkwort, mountain arnica, viper's grass and the heath-spotted orchid.When Carl was two years old, his father was appointed as parish priest at Stenbrohult and the family moved to the rectory there, which lay close to the mediaeval church where Nils Linnaeus officiated. The current church is in neo-classic style, and it was constructed between 1828 and 1830. A cellar stair at the periphery of the churchyard is the only remaining trace of the old rectory.
Carl Linnaeus attended school in the Karolinerhuset ("The Caroline High School") in Växjö. The school was built in the closing years of the 17th century and is excellently preserved. On finishing his schooling, Carl began studies at Lund University, and took lodgings with Professor Kilian Stobaeus in a house close to the cathedral. This house has not survived. One year later, Carl moved to Uppsala University.
Carl Linnaeus married Sara Elisabeth Moraeus in 1739 at her parent's farm, Sveden, just outside of Falun. At the time it was a miner's farm, and consisted of three large wooden buildings. One of these, the "wedding cottage", contains well-preserved murals with Biblical themes. Carl was very happy at the farm of his parents-in-law, and visited often. The wedding cottage is now part of the Mining Area of the Great Copper Mountain in Falun, which has been placed on the World Heritage List.
Carl Linnaeus was appointed to a professorship in Uppsala a few years later, and moved to Svartbäcksgatan to what is now the Linnaeus Museum and the Linnaeus Garden. The house was built in 1693 by the older Olof Rubbeck, who was professor of medicine, a botanist, historian, inventor and architect. It was Rubbeck who had founded the academic botanical garden in 1655.
Both the house and the garden were in a poor condition when the Linnaeus family planned to move in, and the house was refurbished. The ground floor was prepared as a home for the family. The upstairs was used as a scientific section with a lecture theatre, library, study, and rooms for the collections. During Linnaeus' time, the house and the garden became an international centre for medical and scientific research. It was here that Linnaeus taught, carried out research, wrote his pioneering works and conducted his extensive correspondence. Seeds, plants and animals from all over the world were sent to Linnaeus here.
Carl Linnaeus missed the countryside, and in 1758 he bought the manor Hammarby, which lies about 15 kilometres from Uppsala. He had an impressive manor house with two storeys built here, and the house was furnished at a suitably exclusive standard. Linnaeus was worried about the risk of fire, and so a small museum for the collections was built from stone on a hill behind the manor house. The present garden is from the 19th century, but traces of Linnaeus' garden can be found in the park and on the hill by the yellow museum. The family spent the summers at Hammarby and Carl Linnaeus tutored some private pupils here. He also bought another farm, Sävja, and other properties close by.
Monika Minnhagen-Alvsten, National co-ordinator, The Linnaeus Sites
All information on this web site is from the Linnaeus Tercentenary year of 2007 and has not been updated since. If using texts from this web site, please refer to Linnaeus2007 as the source.