Kungsportsplatsen is one of the landmarks in Gothenburg aka Goteborg since a statue was inaugurated 114 years ago in the city. It is the statue of a king mounted on a horse, and the mounted king on horse is erected on a wide base or parapet with rows of steps around it. It is a popular landmark because of its location and closer to the bus- and tram-stop and within the walking distance to shopping centres and eateries. Inaugurated in 1904, the equestrian statue is known in Swedish as ‘kopparmärra’ meaning the copper mare.
The statue had been shielded from the public’s attention with a protective from April 2018 to early September as part of restoration (to remove deposits of elements of weather accumulated for over a century) of the statue but now the works are completed. It was announced that the work will ‘be completed in October this year’ but by mid-September the scaffolding and protective fabric has gone, and open to the view of the public.
People have started to gather around the statue as part of their intermission or interval spot during their outdoors in the city.
The equestrian statue of King Karl IX was sculpted by John Börjeson (1836-1910). The statue became an instant hit among the residents for its location and room to sit or wait by the statue.
WHO IS THIS KING?
King Karl IX was a warrior, and the defender of Gothenburg. Karl IX (1550-1611) was youngest son among Gustav Wasa’s (or Vasa’s) three sons. Karl IX fought along his elder brother Erik XIV in defending Sweden from Danish attacks and invasions. At the age of 15, Karl IX fought in the war to defend Varberg castle. He was not destined to become a king because he had an older brother Johan and when Johan died Johan’s son Sigismund was crowned as the new king. But Karl IX did not let the laws of inheritance to obstruct him from becoming the king. He fought against Sigismund to become the king and defeated Sigismund at the battle of Stångebro. Karl became the king and crowned as King Karl IX in 1604 and remained as the king till to his death in 1611.
KING KARL IX: founder of first city of Gothenburg
The first foundation for Gothenburg was laid by King Karl IX at Hisingen in 1603 today’s Färjenäs at the mouth of Göta Älv but it was razed to the ground by the Danes in 1611. However, his son Gustav II Adolf founded the current city of Gothenburg in 1619.
Once upon a time in October 1977, two robbers stole the 17kg sword and a spur from the king! The Army Museum had to re-commission the sword and the spur. Interestingly, the sword was found with a resident of Lysekil in 1998! And, you can see the original sword of the king at the Museum of Gothenburg.