The History of the Building

In 2017 Gustavianum celebrated its 20th anniversary. The Gustavianum building is much older. Some sections are from the Middle Ages. It is Uppsala University's oldest preserved building erected in large parts during the 1620s.

Uppsala June 6 1792

The name comes from Gustav II Adolf who donated funds and land for a new university building. Previously, the University was run in a house from the Middle Ages south west of the Cathedral.

The Anatomical Theatre

The Anatomical TheatreGustavianum continued to function as a university building. The Anatomical Theatre was constructed during 1662-1663 under the auspices of Olof Rudbeck the elder. He had been to Europe and was inspired by, among other things, the theatre in Leiden, Holland. In an Anatomical Theatre students and the paying public would get the opportunity to witness dissection and gain knowledge on how the human body works.

During the 18th and 19th Centuries

A comprehensive reconstruction took place under the leadership of architect Carl Hårleman in the 18th century, when among other things two new main entrances on the ground floor were opened.

Gustavianum 1860-tal
Gustavianum 1860s

A new University Building was opened in 1887 and the lectures were moved from the Gustavianum in connection with this. At the beginning of the 20th century the Gustavianum was renovated, and the institutions of Nordic Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, Art History, Egyptology and the Victorian Museum as well as the Uppland Museum moved in. The Anatomical Theatre which had its interiors removed in 1859 could be opened again in 1955. 

The Modern Day Gustavianum

As late as 1996 the final departments were moved from the Gustavianum in order to provide space for a new university museum. During the comprehensive restoration, the library rooms of the main floors were recreated following Carl Hårleman’s drawings by the architect Johan Celsing. One of the rooms, the Auditorium Minus, was fitted out in order to receive lecturers again. Moreover the university's collections are emphasised in Gustavianum and the building has been adjusted to a new kind of activity.

Gustavianum is owned and managed by the National Property Board and is a national monument since 1935.