The Essential
Mariestad boasts an attractive setting on the east bank of Lake Vänern and is the perfect starting point for excursions on the lake. Mariestad owes its name to Marie, the first wife of Duke Charles, who was later to become King Charles IX. Its Renaissance-style cathedral (1593-1625) is embellished with an elegant tower flanked by smaller pointed turrets. The town's most interesting streets, Västerlånggatan and Kyrkogatan, are lined with fine wooden buildings built between the 17C and 19C.