During the Middle ages Vaxjo was a large market place. The boarder towards Denmark was not far from the city during the time when Sweden did not control Skane and Blekinge. The cities at the boarder have always a large business trade. Still today this is the case. Towns like Stromstad in today’s Sweden live well on the trade between Swedes and Norwegians. Vaxjo remained a large trade city and the market places were busy up until when the peace in Roskilde when the border towards Denmark was moved. In this peace agreement Sweden got Skane and Vaxjo as a city stagnated.

An interesting fact about Vaxjo and the whole of Smaland is that a large amount of people that migrated to America during the first half of the last century. The emigration had started already during the 17th century and then during very bad conditions. Many did not survive the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. In Vaxjo there is today a museum called the House of emigrants. Here many stories of the large emigration of people from Smaland are told. The house is situated on the street of Wilhelm Moberg. This is a good coincidence since Wilhelm Moberg was born in Smaland. Wilhelm Moberg was born in a poor home and he too had plans of emigrating to the fantastic country in the west. At one occasion he even got a ticket for the journey, but he changed his mind and stayed in Sweden when he saw how unhappy his mother became. She did not want to loose one more child. Three of the siblings of Wilhelm Moberg had already died. However Wilhelm Moberg wrote four novels about emigration: Emigrants, Immigrants, Settlers and The last letter home.

The Kingdom of Glass

The emigration is strongly associated with Smaland and Vaxjo and so is the art of glass. Here, close to the large forests of Smaland several glassworks has appeared. The closeness to the forest is important since it is needed a lot of wood to heat the ovens in order to melt the glass. Today there is a large area known as The Kingdom of Glass, and this area is a must to visit if visiting Vaxsjo. In The Kingdom of Glass one can visit the famous glassworks Kosta, Boda and Orrefors. Here are also a number of smaller glassworks. In total there are 15 workshops to visit. Here one can see today’s skilled glass artists create class and one also has the opportunity to buy their products.

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