General Map of the Swedish Kingdom


In 1683 Swedish cartographer Carl Gripenhielm (1655–94) was appointed the first director of the Swedish Land Survey. Much of Sweden was at that time sparsely populated and not well surveyed. Gripenhielm undertook an ambitious program of mapping and surveying, extending over several decades. The completion of detailed maps of Sweden’s agricultural land, forests, and surrounding seas coincided with the country’s economic development and its rise to great power status under the rule of strong monarchs and a centralized state bureaucracy. By the 18th century, Sweden’s cartographical and cadastral surveys had gained worldwide acclaim. This manuscript map by Gripenhielm depicts Sweden at the end of the 17th century. Sweden was at that time an empire whose rule extended over, in addition to Sweden itself, Finland, the Swedish Baltic provinces, and Swedish Pomerania. The note in the upper right, presumably by Gripenhielm or an assistant, reads: “This Geographic Map of all of Svea and Göta Kingdom, as well as the Grand Duchy of Finland, Livland, Est[land] and Ingermanland, has been compiled, with all possible diligence and through a whole year's work, from the regional maps that are available at this time in the Royal Surveying Office at the Palace of Stockholm, and according to the information obtained from Astronomical observations as well as Road maps and Sailings. Although in some places the maps of whole Provinces and Districts, Parishes and other areas have not yet been available, in such cases (still, in few places) earlier Swedish maps now out of print have had to be used. As soon as new measurements of the whole Kingdom are gathered, another, more complete and accurate map of all of Sweden will be made without fail, with the subordinate Provinces, and also the neighboring Kingdoms and borders, Lakes and other notable places (where God may safeguard [our] life time and bestow health). Date Stockholm February 10 Year 1688.”

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Generalkarta över svenska riket

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 handdrawn map : pencil, watercolor ; 74 x 51 centimeters


  • Scale around 1 inch to 3,340,000 feet ; scale bar 10 Swedish miles equal 3.2 centimeters

Last updated: January 27, 2015