Few persons’ names exude Uppsala like the one of Carl Linnaeus, or Carl von Linné, which is the name he got after the ennoblement. Having had the city as both a research base and a home for 50 years, Uppsala is characterised by his life’s work as a botanist as well as a private person. So get out and explore the city, just like the botanist himself used to do, and discover the beautiful spots he left for the Uppsala residents of today to enjoy!
Carl Linnaeus – the Southerner who caught Uppsala’s heart
On 23 May 1707, a baby was born on the countryside of Småland in the southern parts of Sweden. This baby was later on going to be called the flower king. You could tell, since he had great interests of fauna and flora at an early age. By the age of 21, he was signed up for studies at Lund University, where he could truly indulge in the subject. But soon afterwards, Carl Linnaeus moved his studies to the university of Uppsala, where he, according to his old schoolteacher the botanist, would learn so much more about it.
The rest is history. The qualifications of Carl Linnaeus are many, but the most famous one might be his scientific classification of plants, animals and minerals. He also became Rector of Uppsala University in 1750 and was granted nobility seven years later. But before all of this, he dedicated several years to traveling, during which time he made many discoveries while investigating the behaviour of all living things. So in the true spirit of Carl von Linné, we encourage you to step out and explore all of the many Linnean experiences Uppsala has to offer!
Linné alive and kicking in the Linnaeus garden
Even though we are three centuries too late, you can still see, meet and talk to a Carl Linnaeus of flesh and blood in Uppsala. If you visit for example the Linnaeus garden, you might be so lucky to receive a guided tour from a stylish Linné, dressed accordingly to the highest fashion of the 18th century, credibly played by Uppsala legend Hand Odöö.
Besides being Sweden’s oldest botanical garden, the Linnaeus garden is known for having been founded by scientist Olof Rudbeck the Elder. During that time, it served as the academical garden of Uppsala University, where plants used for medical care and research constituted most of the sprouting collection. The garden was later passed over to Carl Linnaeus, who had other opinions on which plants where supposed to grow there and which were not. Today, the garden’s lush life is restricted to the plants that the father of taxonomy himself used to cultivate. And yes, they are organized on accordance to the classification system.
If your stomachs starts to rumble, you’ll find Café Linné, or actually two of them, just next door to the Linnaeus garden. Located on two corners at the crossroads between Svartbäcksgatan and, of course, Linnégatan, are two classical Uppsala cafeterias serving light lunches and tons of fika.
The Botanical Garden, a blooming cluster of plant life, and perhaps the favorite garden of Uppsala’s inhabitants who call it “Botan”.
Flawless flourishing in Botan
From one green oasis to another – because, obviously, Carl Linnaeus left several for Uppsala to inherit. One of these is the Botanical Garden, a blooming cluster of plant life, and perhaps the favorite garden of Uppsala’s inhabitants who call it “Botan”. Boastfully enough, it’s residence of more than 8000 plant varieties, since this was the place where the plants from the Linnaeus garden were moved after its owner deceased. And not only are the flowers many and marvelous – the facilities are of a stunning beauty as well. For a Linnaeus enthusiast and/or plant lover, a visit to the peaceful Linneanum, the warming tropical greenhouse or one of the flora themed events hosted by Botan is a must.
Linnaeus’ leafy country idyll
Considering the city life of Uppsala anno 1758 too busy and stressful, Carl Linnaeus invested in two countryside farms outside of town. One of them is now known as Linnaeus’ Hammarby, is situated about 10 km south-east of Uppsala and was used as a summer home by von Linné with family. Students wanting to listen and learn from their preferred plant professor were a regular sight back in the days and today, people of all ages come to enjoy a guided tour and insights into the private life of the modern system of binomial nomenclature’s inventor.
A bit closer to the city is Linnaeus’ Sävja, a farm often visited by the Linné to write, think or enjoy landscape. Also, it was this place Linné chose to grow old at and even for spending his lasts days on earth. Nowadays, the living area is a museum and the grounds are home to sheep, hens and horses. One can easily say that Linnaeus’ way of living still has something to offer for everyone!
Follow in the footsteps of Linnaeus
One of way of getting to the farms Hammarby and Sävja us to literally walk the same well-trodden paths that Linnaeus himself so often walked. Today, these eight trails are called Linnéstigarna (the Linnaeus’ trails.) One of these, Linnéstigen Danmarksvandringen, lead to both of the blossom boss’s old farms. Other final destinations are the agricultural landscape of Håga, the mysterious hills of Gamla Uppsala and Linnaeus’ prebend farm in Törnby.
Would you like to know more about the imprints Linneaus’ has left in Uppsala? Visit Linnaeus’ Uppsala for more tips and information about the flower king!