Linnaeus' country estate – a national treasure

An illustration from 1794 of the manor, drawn in black ink and wash on white paper. A two storeyed house with a gambrel roof and two chimneys. On the ground floor are four windows, two on either side of a door, all with opened shutters. The first floor has five evenly distributed windows without shutters. In the foreground of the picture is a cubic birdcage on four legs, housing one black bird. Between the courtyard with the birdcage and the manor is a low fence opened in its centre. The artist is Johan Gustaf Härstedt, 1756-1820.

The small estate Hammarby, 15 km SE of Uppsala, was bought by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. He wanted a farm on the countryside where he could spend the summers together with his family, away from the unhealthy environment of Uppsala.

Today, few Swedish manors present such an authentic milieu. It reflects the private life of Linnaeus as well as his scientific work.

Carl Linnaeus' Summer Residence – Hammarby

In 1758 Linnaeus bought two small estates: Sävja and Hammarby. During their first summers at Hammarby the Linnaeus family lived in the detached west wing. The main building at Hammarby was built in 1762. Linnaeus also had a small, and reasonably fireproof, museum built at Hammarby where he kept his extensive natural history collections.

Linnaeus received many visitors at Hammarby. Inside or outside the museum, he lectured from a peculiar lecture stool, "plugghästen" (Sw. plugga - to study, häst - horse).

After Linnaeus´ death in 1778 his wife Sara Lisa remained at Hammarby for many years together with two of their daughters. The Swedish State bought the houses and the park from his descendants in 1879 and it is now managed by Uppsala University.

Last modified: 2023-08-14