Bergielund – where it all started
In the mid 18th century the two brothers, Bengt and Peter Jonas Bergius, laid out a garden at the present Vasaparken in Stockholm. The property was called Bergielund and it is the origin of the Bergius Botanic Garden.
The Bergielund area of seven hectares stretched between Karlbergs allé (today's Karlbergsvägen), Torsgatan, Hälsingegatan and Odengatan. After the death of the brothers the property was donated to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (the Bergianus Foundation was established) and remained on the same site up until 1885 when it was moved to Frescati because of new development in the area.
The grounds and the dwelling-house were acquired in 1759, and at the beginning the brothers intended it as a summer retreat from their work in the city. Peter Jonas practiced as a medical doctor and Bengt was a bank commissioner and a historian. In the 1760s, Peter Jonas's aim was to create a botanic garden for scientific purposes in Stockholm, and he became a supervisor of this work at the medicinal herb garden of the Serafimer Hospital. On account of financial difficulties and problems with decision-making it was soon closed down, but the garden at Bergielund still flourished.
At Bergielund, besides outdoor plantations, there were greenhouses, a tobacco barn and a mansion. Working on the estate were gardeners, farmhands, maids and a couple of coachmen. In addition the brothers had a housekeeper who was very close to them. At times, when there was a lot of work to be done, more servants were called in. In his diary Bergius writes about "dalkullorna" (women from the province of Dalarna) who threshed and "gummorna" (the old women) who planted rhubarbs. Cows and horses, an ox, a peacock and a few beehives belonged to the estate as well.
The garden remained on the same property until 1885 and was moved to its present site at Brunnsviken, Frescati, when the area inside the city was to be developed according to the new city plan.
Last updated: April 4, 2022
Source: Bergius Botanic Garden