Year of creation:1796
- Rider(s):Gustav II, Adolf
(1594 –1632) was the King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632, and is credited for the founding of Sweden as a great power. He led Sweden to military supremacy during the Thirty Years’ War, helping to determine the political as well as the religious balance of power in Europe.
He is often regarded as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, with innovative use of combined arms. His most notable military victory was the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631). With a superb military machine, good weapons, excellent training, and effective field artillery, backed by an efficient government that could provide necessary funds, Gustavus Adolphus was poised to make himself a major European leader. He was killed a year later, however, at the Battle of Lützen (1632).
In an era characterized by almost endless warfare, Gustavus Adolphus inherited three simultaneous and ongoing wars of his father at the age of sixteen. Two of these were border wars with Russia and Denmark, and a more personal war (at least for his father) with Gustavus’ first cousin, King Sigismund III Vasa of Poland.
During his reign, Sweden rose from the status of a Baltic Sea basin regional power to one of the great powers of Europe and a model of early modern era government.
Called “The Golden King” and “The Lion of the North”, he made Sweden one of the great powers of Europe, in part by reforming the administrative structure. For example, he began parish registration of the population, so that the central government could more efficiently tax and conscript the people. His domestic reforms, which transformed a backward, almost medieval economy and society, were in fact not only the foundations for his victories in Germany, but also absolutely crucial for the creation and survival of the Swedish Empire.
He is widely commemorated by Protestants in Europe as the main defender of their cause during the Thirty Years’ War. He became a symbol of Swedish pride.
- Sculptor(s):l'Archevêque, Pierre Hubert
(1721 –1778) was a Swedish sculptor and director of the Swedish Academy of the Arts 1768–77. After having been in Rome and Paris for a number of years he moved in 1755 to Stockholm.
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