King Karl XV was the king of Sweden and Norway from July 8th, 1857 until his death in the town of Malmo on September 18th, 1872. King Karl’s was related to Josephine of Leuchtenberg (she was his mother) and a descendent of Gustave I of Sweden. King Karl XV was the Viceroy of Norway during the years 1856 and 1857 until he became Regent and finally King upon the death of his father, Oscar I.
Before King Karl XV became king, he was the Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway. His personality during these years was short-tempered and he was often thought of as being somewhat brusque. Later years, however, would prove to show that King Karl would grow to be one of Sweden’s most beloved rulers. King Karl is, for the most part, remembered for the many reforms he made during his reign. He changed not only the existing communal law in Sweden, but also the ecclesiastical law and criminal law. King Karl also helped his friend, Louis De Geer, to make remarkable reforms to the Riksdag in 1866.
King Karl was also a gifted painter and poet. Many of
his best paintings are still on display at the Stadshuset,
a popular tourist attraction in Sweden and a central center
for government. His brother, Oscar II was the king of
Norway and Sweden after he died, and later his grandson,
Prince Carl of Denmark,
would assume the throne of Norway.
One popular tourist attractions in Sweden built during
the reign of King Karl is the Skeppsholmbron Bridge, which
connects to Skeppsholmen
Island near Stockholm.
This bridge, commissioned by the royalty, was constructed
by the company Motala Verkstad. Motala Verkstad is one
of the oldest engineering companies in Sweden. Founded
in 1822, the Motala Verkstad company was started during
the contruction of the Gota Canal. This famous and old
company has also built over 400 ships, 800 bridges, and
1300 locomotives. In the 1970’s, the company also
worked on the Uppsala Cathedral, and in the 1980’s
earned the distinction of being the world’s largest
exporter of kitchen sinks, and continues to build landing
gear for Swedish aircraft.
The company was started with the initiative of Baltzar von Platen, who decided that the country of Sweden needed local technical knowledge of the local area’s canal. Also notable is the fact that Jules Verne mentions Motala Verkstad in his novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, when he notes that the submarine from the novel was built at Motala Verkstad.