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Nordic FAQ - 7 of 7 - SWEDEN
Section - 7.4 Main tourist attractions

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Top Document: Nordic FAQ - 7 of 7 - SWEDEN
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  7.4.1 Stockholm area
  
   Stockholm was originally established (c. 1250) by Birger Jarl as a
   defense outpost against the Baltic pirates on one of the channel
   islands that now make up Old Town. The city gained importance during
   the late Middle Ages as an exporter of metals, timber, and furs from
   its hinterland, but was still second after Uppsala in importance.
   Following the Stockholm Bloodbath and the subsequent overthrow of
   Danish rule in 1523, Stockholm became the center of the new Swedish
   kingdom. Under Gustav II Adolf (ruled 1611-32) Sweden became a major
   European power. His daughter and successor Christina (ruled 1632-54)
   established Stockholm as an intellectual and cultural center.
   
   Stockholm is sometimes known as the Venice of the North. It is the
   cultural, educational, and industrial center of Sweden. The heart of
   the city is built on 13 small islands at the junction where Lake
   Mälaren joins the Baltic Sea. Remnants of medieval Stockholm survive
   on three small islands known as Gamla Stan (the Old Town). They are
   Stadsholmen (The City Island) , Riddarholmen (Knight Island), and
   Helgeandsholmen (The Island of the Holy Spirit). The islands are
   closely connected and form the "Staden mellan broarna", or "city
   between the bridges".
   
   Stadsholmen has old gabled houses and narrow streets not found in
   other sections. Facing the water is the Royal Palace, which was
   completed in 1760, and is open to tourists. Nearby is the Storkyrkan
   (cathedral), the oldest building of the city (although the exterior is
   baroque), which houses e.g the famous medieval sculpture of St. Georg
   and the Dragon by the German sculptor Berndt Notke.
   
   Cobblestone streets wind up from the palace to the old Stortorget, or
   Great Market, the site of the Bloodbath of 1520. Eighty-two Swedish
   noblemen were executed in the market by Danish King Christian II.
   Close to Stadsholmen is Riddarholmen, where many of the Swedish rulers
   have been buried in Riddarholmskyrkan. On the tiny Helgeandsholmen, or
   Island of the Holy Spirit, where the House of Parliament stands.
   
   North of the Old Town are Norrmalm, the modern business and theater
   district, and Östermalm, a resedential section. Södermalm, a
   manufacturing center, is in the city's southern section, across the
   bridge leading from Old Town. The Town Hall, which is Stockholm's
   symbol, and most of the city government offices are on Kungsholmen, a
   large island west of Norrmalm. Stockholm is famous for its cleanliness
   and for its large number of parks and open spaces. On Djurgarden (a
   peninsula reserved for parkland and a cultural center) is Skansen, an
   open-air museum.
   
   The University of Stockholm, founded in 1877 as a private institution,
   was taken over by the state in 1960 and is now the country's largest
   university. The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually in Stockholm, with
   the exception of the Nobel Peace Prize, which is presented in Oslo,
   Norway.
   
   Major museums include the National Museum (of art), the Moderna Museet
   (Museum of modern art), the Vasa Museum (where a magnificient, 17th
   Century royal warship Vasa is on display; it sunk in the harbour on
   it's first journey in 1628 and was well preserved in the water for
   over 300 years until it was lifted in 1961. It's a must for every
   Stockholm visitor), the Historical Museum, the Nordic Museum, the
   Museum of Natural History (with Cosmonova omni theatre), the Museum of
   Naval History, the Skansen outdoor museum, the medieval museum, and
   the Royal Armoury (Livrustkammaren) where all sorts of fascinating
   artifacts from the history of the kingdom are on display, including
   crown jewels.
   
   In August each year we have the Stockholm Water Festival, an annual
   cultural and entertainment event sponsored by the city council and
   local business life. The one and a half week festival offers special
   exhibitions, concerts, shows, fireworks, an impromptu shopping mall in
   the Old Town with street restaurants, outdoor movie shows, activities
   for children, etc. The offcial guide of the festival each year lists
   more than 1 000 festival events.
   
   The Stockholm archipelago with tens and tens of thousands of islands
   is very popular in the summer. You can take the white Waxholm boats to
   the archipelago. A popular area for summer houses.
   
   Have a tour around Stockholm by sightseeing boat. Or see the city on a
   regular boat trip. In that case, note Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen,
   formerly navy base. Then get the most condensed view of the old town.
   Further out, note Waldermarsudde, home of artist late Prince Eugen,
   now museum. Young artists will give concerts here summertime. Then a
   white building with towers, home of late Marcus Wallenberg. Finally
   two beautiful houses from baroque era on point Blockhusudden.
   
   Drottningholm. Accessed by land or by boat. Home of the royal family.
   Theatre with advanced scene mechanism from 18th century, in use today.
   Park in the style of Versailles, with "Kina slott", romantic building
   in Chinese style.
   
   Open-air museum Skansen in Djurgården should preferably be seen when
   all workshops are open which will not be until the end of August. At
   least some of them should however be open every Sunday. Skansen also
   has a Zoo. You can get there with the museum tram line leaving from
   Norrmalmstorg.
   
  Suggested walks or bike rides around Stockholm
  
     * Along shore Norr Mälarstrand. Outdoor cafe. Then one will come to
       the City Hall. Enter the tower.
     * From Djurgården eastwards along the shore to Blockhusudden. Bring
       a picnic basket early in the morning.
     * On the hills of Södermalm, with red cottages dispersed among the
       stone houses. Fine views over the water.
     * Along the shores of Reimersholme. Then, on the way to bridge
       Västerbron, pass by "Lasse i parken" (cafe in a red cottage). Go
       over Västerbron and again come to Norr Mälarstrand.
     * On Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen. Museum of Eastern antiques.
       Youth hostel and outdoor cafe.
       
   There is no particular restaurant area in Stockholm. Stureplan and
   around however is somewhat of a meeting place. It is also close to
   water. In later years the south side (Södermalm), especially around
   Medborgarplatsen, has emerged as an important area of restaurants and
   pubs. There are over a hundred of them within 5 minutes walking
   distance from Medborgarplatsen.
   
   Plenty of choir concerts are given in the churches and the choirs are
   generally very good.
   
   There are some places close to Stockholm which should be seen, if
   possible.
     * Gripsholm castle, accessed e.g. with s/s Mariefred on a one-day
       trip; oldest part was built in the 1380s. Interesting because it's
       different styles inside reflect different epochs.
     * Home and orangery of the famous botanist Carl von Linne in
       Uppsala.
     * Hammarby, east of Uppsala. Summer resort of Linne, used by him for
       lecturing.
     * Österbybruk, north of Uppsala. The pre-industrial factories called
       "bruk" ("works" should be the appropriate term in English) are
       peculiar for Sweden. A bruk was a complete community. They are
       dispersed throughout middle Sweden. Österbybruk is very well
       preserved.
     * Skokloster castle at lake Mälaren, from about the same time as
       man-of-war Vasa. Armoury collection. (Rent a car in order to visit
       the previous four items.)
     * The remains of Birka in lake Mälaren. Birka could be considered
       capital of Sweden during the Viking age. Best accessed by boat.
       
  Suggested one-day archipelago trips from Stockholm
  
     * Sandhamn on island Sandön. Have beefsteak lunch onboard on the
       steamer. From the harbour, walk southwards to village Sandhamn.
       Then follow the southern shore of the island to point Trouville.
       Find a suitable way back to the village. Be careful to enter the
       right boat back. Avoid Saturdays and Sundays.
     * Kymmendö. Strindberg's Hemsö. Restricted area. Ask for permission
       at the police office.
     * Rödlöga. Small formerly fishing village. Forest meadows and
       hardwood forest, very impressing that far out in the sea. It will
       however be at its best in early summer. The main island of this
       detached archipelago is rather small and will be walked around in
       one hour. Choose between Saturdays or Sundays.
     * Husarö.
       
   If you have the time, stay over night somewhere. There are
   accommodations at several places. Buy a smoked fish if there are not
   any restaurants. Check restricted (military) areas on the map. Ticks
   is not a big problem, but ask for advice if you are uncertain.
   
   On a half-day trip from Stockholm one can go to Vaxholm. See the
   citadel (open until 16.00) with gunnery museum and minute exhibition
   about the Ytterby mine, known for ytterbium, yttrium, terbium,
   holmium, scandium, gadolinium and lanthanum. The mine itself may be
   visited but is hardly worth seeing and minerals may not be collected.
   Open air cafe in the citadel.
   
   
   
  7.4.2 Uppsala
  
   The city of Uppsala, a major Swedish cultural center, lies about 70 km
   north of Stockholm and can easily be accessed by train. Uppsala has a
   history going well into the prehistoric era, it became the seat of the
   Swedish archbishop in 1164 and a royal residence in the next century,
   although it later lost much of its status and the king moved to
   Stockholm. The most important sight is Uppsala cathedral (domkyrkan),
   Sweden's largest medieval church, and a national sanctuary where e.g
   the king Gustav Vasa, philosopher Emmanuel Swedenborg and the botanist
   Carl von Linné (Linnaeus) are buried. The University of Uppsala (1477)
   is Sweden's oldest institution of higher learning, and it's main
   building Gustavianum (1623) houses a couple of museums. Uppsala castle
   overlooks the city from a high hill, and beside it is the symbol of
   the city, Gunillaklockan (Gunilla's clock), which is played daily 6
   a.m and 9 p.m. Uppland's museum is located in an old mill by the river
   Fyrisån. Linné's home museum (Linnés Hammarby) with a garden dedicated
   to him are also in the city.
   
   Gamla Uppsala (Old Uppsala), now a suburb five kilometers to the north
   of the modern city, was the religious and political capital of the
   Sveas in the Viking age. The three high burial mounds (kungshögarna)
   from the 6th century belong, according to tradition, to the kings Aun,
   Adils and Egil; finds from their excavations are displayed in
   Stockholm in the Historical Museum (Historiska Museet). In a 1164 a
   church was built on the site of the famous old pagan temple of which
   nothing remains, as a symbol of the victory of Christianity in Sweden
   -- it was the seat of the archbishop until 13th century when a new
   cathedral was finished. The restaurant Odinsborg, built in "viking
   style", serves mead (mjöd).
   

[ the sections above are available at the www-page
  http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq74.html ]

   
   
  7.4.3 Malmö
  
   Located in Skåne, the southern tip of Sweden, 26 km across the sea
   (Öresund) from Copenhagen, Malmö is Sweden's third largest city. It
   was chartered as a city during the 13th century, at which time the
   region belonged to Denmark. In 1658 it passed to Sweden. Originally,
   Malmö's harbor was poor, and the city served mainly as a herring
   market until 1775, when the port facilities were improved. After 1800,
   Malmö began to develop as an industrial city.
   
   The center of Malmö is Stortorget square, by which are located the
   governor's house (Residenset, 1720), the City Hall (Rådhuset, 1546)
   and the statue of Karl X Gustav, conqueror of Skåne. St Peter's Church
   (S:t Petri, 1319), with a nicely sculptured interior and a 88m high
   green spire is also in the center. The castle Malmöhus was first built
   1434, and rebuilt 1537-42; now it houses a museum of archaology,
   history, natural history and art. The Small Square (Lilla Torg) is one
   of the most beautiful in the country, with it's houses from the 17th
   and 18th centuries. Other sights include the Technical Museum,
   Charlotte Weibull's House, the City Theatre, the Arts Hall, and the
   old Market Hall. In the summer, you may want to visit the beach
   Ribersborgbadet.
   
   
   
  7.4.4 Göteborg
  
   Göteborg (Gothenburg), founded in 1621 by Gustav II Afolf on the site
   of an earlier settlement, is Sweden's second largest city and chief
   seaport. It prospered during especially during the Napoleonic Wars,
   when Göteborg remained open while many other European ports were under
   the anti-British trade blockade. Located where the Göta river empties
   into the Danish straits, it was designed on Netherlandic fashion, with
   canals and bridges. The Göta Gota Canal built in the 19th century runs
   between Stockholm and Stockholm, and is a very scenic route indeed.
   
   In the center of the city are Gustav Adolf's square, by which the old
   Stock Exchange is located. The City Hall was designed by Nicholas
   Tessin the younger in 1672. The Östra Hamngatan and Kungsportavenyn
   streets lead to Götaplatsen (Göta Square), in the center of which is
   the statue of Poseidon by Carl Milles; the city theatre, concert hall
   and art musem (Nordic, French and Dutch art from 19th and 20th
   centuries) are located by the square. Ostindiska Huset (the house of
   the East-Indian Company), built 1750, houses historical,
   archaeological and ethnological collections. The city museum is housed
   in the oldest house of the city, Kronhuset, from the year 1653. Kronan
   is a fortress with a war museum. Off the city lies Älvsborgs Festning
   (Ävsborg Fortress), 1670, which can be accessed by boat. The old parts
   of the city contain the also the cathedral (1633), Kristine Church
   (1648), the law courts (1672), and the opera house (1859). There's a
   university (1891) and Chalmers Technical University. The sports
   stadium Ullevi, with seats for 52,000 people, is Sweden's biggest; the
   indoors stadium Scandinavium houses 14,000. Two bridges go over the
   wide Göta River, Götaälvbron and the newer Älvborgsbron.
   
   
   
  7.4.5 Gotland
  
   Gotland is the the largest island (3,023 km²) in the Baltic Sea and
   has a population of 56,383 (1989), with the town of Visby as the
   administrative center. It lies 80 km off the Swedish coast and can be
   accessed by daily boats from the mainland. Close to it are a couple of
   smalle islands, Fårön, Gotska Sandön and Karlsö. Gotland is a low
   limestone plateau with a temperate, sunny climate. It developed rather
   early in prehistory etensive trade contacts with the people of
   northern Europe, and had a very distinctive culture, represented by
   e.g the numerous, beautiful picture stones erected all over the
   island. By the 12th century Visby was an important, independent town
   and a member of the Hanseatic League. The Danish king Valdemar
   Atterdag brutally conquered it in 1361, and after that, control of
   Gotland was disputed by several nations. Trade routes shifted,
   however, and by the time Sweden gained lasting control in 1645, it had
   lost much of its former importance and was impoverished.
   
   Nowadays the island is a very popular summer destination, rich in
   sights (including lots of medieval churches) and very good for a
   cycling holiday. It has a beautiful, characteristic nature, and the
   old ring wall around the medieval city of Visby, no doubt one of the
   most beautiful towns in Scandinavia, is almost totally intact. An
   important event is the Medieval Week (medeltidsveckan) arranged in
   Visby in August every year, with knights, Medieval markets, etc. The
   Forntidssalen museum in Visby displays the fascinating prehistory of
   Gotland, including picture stones and some of the rich Viking age
   treasures that are constantly found in the island (metal detectors are
   banned in Gotland!) Other absolute "musts" in and around Gotland
   include the caves at Lummelunda, the rauk fields (peculiar limestone
   formations on the coasts) and Stora Karlsö (an island off the
   south-west of Gotland).
   
   
   
  7.4.6 The rest of Sweden
  
   In the north, people appreciate the beauty of the mountain range
   ("fjällvärlden"), where you can hike, fish, pick berries, ski (in the
   winter) or see the midnight sun (in the summer and far north). There
   are several big national parks here.
   
   The province of Dalarna is the "home" of the traditional Midsummer
   celebrations, where people dance around the Midsummer poles in
   traditional folk dresses.
   
   Jämtland is one of the latest provinces to have been incorporated in
   the Swedish realm, and remains almost half-Norwegian both in customs
   and language - and a great resort for hiking and skiing.
   
   A popular route is Göta Kanal, on which you can go on boat from
   Norrköping to Gothenburg and at the same time see a cross section of
   the mid-Sweden country side.
   
   Skåne (Scania) is the Swedish province that gives an almost Central
   European impression. The landscape is very flat and much of it is
   farmed. You'll find beautiful beech woods here and everywhere you see
   the traditional black and white houses ('korsvirkeshus'). Many like to
   rent or own summer houses on the Scanian country side. For more info
   on Scania, see section 7.6.
   

[ the sections above are available at the www-page
  http://www.lysator.liu.se/nordic/scn/faq743.html ]

   
   



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