Vadstena is a locality and the seat of Vadstena Municipality, Östergötland County, Sweden, with 5,613 inhabitants in 2010. From 1974 to 1979 Vadstena was administered as part of Motala Municipality. Despite its small population, Vadstena is, for historical reasons, still referred to as a city (it received its city privileges in 1400). Statistics Sweden, however, only counts localities with more than 10,000 inhabitants as cities.
Above all, the city of Vadstena is noted for two important artefacts of Swedish history. It was in Vadstena, in 1350, that Saint Bridget of Sweden founded the first monastery of her Bridgettine Order, and Vadstena Castle is one of Sweden’s best-preserved castles from the era of Gustav Vasa in the 16th century.
Today the surviving buildings of the monastery are occupied by a hotel, the Vadstena Klosterhotel, and the castle houses the provincial archives and a museum of 16th and 17th century furniture, portraits and paintings. Since the 16th century, Vadstena has been the location of a hospital. Earlier in history, it mainly housed mental patients. Today, some of the oldest buildings present the Vadstena Hospital Museum.