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Founded in 1545 by Gustavus Vasa, king of Sweden, but not completed until 1620, this is one of the most splendid Vasa castles, erected in Renaissance style during a period of national expansion. It dominates the town from its position on the lake, just behind the old courthouse on the south end. Vadstena was last inhabited by royalty in 1715 and was restored in the 19th century. Since 1899, the greater part of the castle has been used for provincial archives.