VAXBLEKAREN – The hotel with remenants of the 17th century
Eksjö is the modern bustling small-town idyll with ancient origins. The city received its city rights already at the beginning of the 15th century. The Old Town with its architectural monuments is today considered one of the country’s best examples of a preserved, cohesive wooden city and has been awarded one of the internationally highly regarded Europa Nostra diplomas.
VAXBLEKAREN through-out History
Vaxblekaren or Vaxblekaregården throughout the ages served as a home to several craftsmen. A female embroiderer bought Vaxblekaren in 1685. She embroidered chasubles, a type of priest clothing for the churches, and became prominent in the town because of her good earnings. Perhaps she also had the gable roof, the small dome on top of the main building, erected to mark her prosperity. The terraced roofs were built as small gazebos where the lord of the land could go to look out over his or her possessions.
During the 18th century, there was a forge in the southern part of Vaxblekaren, the one closest to the church. After a fire in the forge, it was forbidden to walk with burning torches between the narrow buildings between 9:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. City guards patrolled the city at night and they called out at regular intervals, just like in Robin Hood, “It’s 10 o’clock, nothing’s on fire, everything’s fine”.
In 1834, the wealthy merchant Johan Lindblad founded a wax bleaching factory on the premises. In the autumn, he buys beeswax from farmers around Eksjö or imports from Germany. The beeswax is rolled out into sheets and during the spring and summer, it is allowed to float in large water tanks outside in the courtyard to be bleached by the sunlight. The wax was used to make white church candles but also jewels, doll heads, and medals. Business is booming because Eksjö’s wax bleaching plant is the only one outside of Stockholm at the time.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the building was taken over by Fredrik Pettersson, who ran a bakery in the building. His son Karl-Axel Pettersson later took over the Vaxblekaregården in 1936.
Christer Larsson and his wife took Vaxblekaregården into the 21st century by having the property rebuilt into a hotel in the 90s. Since 2020, the business is run by winemaker, restaurateur, and hotelier, Jonas Persson.