Lützen, now a sleepy small town in Germany. Then, in November 16 year 1632, the fog was dense. At this place was the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf killed. Lets make a visit to the place.
During the morning of this autumn day in 1632, the fog was dense. The troops were standing and waited for the fog to ease. When the clock approached 11 am the fog began to dissipate and the order of gunfire came.
The King’s death
Gustavus Adolphus (Gustav II Adolf) conducted usually the battles in the frontline, and so even that day. His strategy was often to do quick tactical decisions, which resulted in a surprise element.
The battle, which stood between Gustavus Adolphus and Count Pappenheim was about to be overcome when Gustav II Adolf wanted the Swedish troops to press further against the enemy. To instill more courage and fighting spirit in his men he rode to the forefront.
At the front of the Swedish center came the king in a clash with an officer from the enemy side. The king shot him and the shot went through the lung. The king himself, was hit by a bullet that shattered his left elbow. In the chaos that prevailed was also the king’s horse hit.
The horse was hit in the throat and was now almost impossible to steer. King became more confused and got further in among the enemies and the village of Lützen. Here he gets struck by a bullet in the back and also stabbed in the chest. The king fell from his horse.
On the ground lies a badly injured Gustav II Adolf. Someone walks to him and fires a fatal shot in the temple. The king is dead.
Shortly after the fatal shooting plundering the ememies the King’s body from clothes and gold jewelry. King’s jacket is sent to Vienna as a trophy. The battle was over.
Lützen and the site today
In Lützen today you can’t miss that something of great historical value happend here. Several streets have names with Swedish connections, a statue of Gustav II Adolf standing in front of the town hall, a school and a kindergarten are also named after the king.
On the death site is a memorial, Schwedenstein, and the area around the monument is named Gustav-Adolf-Gedenkstätte.
The monument is designed Gothic Revival style and built in 1837. The memorial chapel over the stone is paid for by Sweden and was given as a gift in 1907.
On the site are also two typical Swedish red cottages. These come from the Swedish landscape Dalarna, and were donated in 1932 and 1982. Inside there are an exhibition about the king’s death.