Norrköping

Norrköping Sweden

Coat of Arms Norrköping Sweden

Norrköping is a city in the province of Östergötland in eastern Sweden and the seat of Norrköping Municipality, Östergötland County. The city has a population of 83,561 inhabitants in 2005, out of a municipal total of 127,059, making it Sweden's tenth largest city and eighth largest municipality.

The city is situated by the mouth of the river Motala ström, at Bråviken, an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Water power from the Motala ström and the good harbour were factors that facilitated the rapid growth of this once industrial city, known for its textile industry. It has several nicknames such as: ‘Sweden's Manchester’ , ‘Peking’ and ‘Surbullestan’ (Surbulle was a local nickname for the textileworkers, and stan´ is short for Staden, which means The City or The Town in Swedish)

History
The city has medieval foundations by settlers around the Norrköping twin city with Linköping Motala stream estuary, who used the falls and rapids to power their mills. The stream was also full of fish such as salmon. Exact dates are uncertain, but there are mentions of a church in the 12th century. It was dedicated to Saint Olaf, Norway's patron.

The first trace of the city's name is from 1283, when Sofia of Denmark - wife of Valdemar I of Sweden - donated her rights of salmon fishing to the Skänninge monastery. The town is estimated to have received city status in the early 14th century, although no written documents exist prior to a document from 1384. This document, signed by Albrekt of Sweden is stored in the city archive today.

The city was the location of several battles in the ensuing centuries. As a consequence, nothing of the medieval Norrköping remains today. During the Northern Seven Years' War (1563-1570), the entire southern part of Norrköping was burnt. It was rebuilt by John III of Sweden ,who designed the current street pattern.

In 1618, a weapon industry was established by supervision of Gustavus Adolphus. The harbour also attracted ships due to its proximity to the industries of Finspång. In addition to the weapon industry, a large scale industry of textile was also initiated. An important benefactor was the industrial man Louis De Geer (1587-1652). At De Geer's death, Norrköpings had 6,000 inhabitants and was Sweden's second largest city.

The city again burnt in 1655, and again in 1719 during the Great Northern War when the Russians burnt it to the ground. Stones from the Johannisborg castle were used to build new houses, and today only a few stones remain.

During the 18th century it was rebuilt and several industries soon got a stronghold: In the 1740s, Norrköping boosted three sugar refineries; in the 1750s the large scale influential snuff industry was established. From this time stems the city churches of Saint Olof and Saint Hedvig, and several other old houses. Motala ström runs through Norrköping

Norrköping's importance again flourished. In 1769 the Swedish Riksdag assembled there. In 1800 the king Gustav IV of Sweden was crowned in the Church of Saint Olof.

The city again suffered fires in 1822 and 1826. Thereafter wooden houses were banned. In 1841 a ship industry was initiated as a branch of Motala Verkstad in Motala. In 1850 the industry had over 600 employees making it Sweden's largest ship industry at the time. During the remaining 19th century, the industries kept expanding. The area by the Motala Stream was developed further with the construction of a cotton refinery, and a paper mill was constructed in 1854, specializing in newspaper, and is still today exporting to customers around the world.

The industry, including textile manufacturers, also expanded into the 20th century. In 1950 a total of 54 factories had 6,600 employees in town. By 1956, however, 18 of them had been closed due to competition from countries abroad with lower wages, such as Italy and Japan. In 1970 only 10 factories and 1,200 employees remained. In that year, the renowned Holmen paper mill, with its 350 years long history, announced closure, and another 900 people were let go. To counter the effects, several governmental authorities were relocated to Norrköping from Stockholm. See also Braviken Paper Mill.

As of 2002, Norrköping is now seeing a revival, as a center of culture and education. The Norrköping symbol represents the ‘new’ Norrköping.

Tourism
There are a lot of things within and around Norrköping that is worth seeing. Within the centre of Norrköping, there are a lot of stores, restaurants and cafes.

Within a stone’s throw from the shops, there is a nice parade alongside Strömmen, the so called river that flows through the city. In connection to this nice parade is the industrial landscape. This is the place where the old textile industries once where situated.

In the summer, there is a cactus plantation in Carl Johans Park. 25 000 cactuses are planted there every summer.

What is really worth visiting is Kolmårdens Djurpark. That is a zoo located 30 km north of Norrköping. Almost all animals can be seen there. In connection to the big outdoor zoo, there is also Tropicariet an aquarium, where for example snakes, crocodiles and sharks can be seen.

The archipelago 50 km away from Norrköping is worth a visit. There are the opportunities to bath, rent a kayak or go by the ferries between the different islands, such as S:t Anna or Gryt.

If you are visiting Norrköping in the winter, Yxbacken offers downhill skiing.

Notable natives
* Hannes Alfvén - Physicist, Nobel Prize Winner
* Moa Martinson - Author
* Michael B Tretow - World famous producer and audio engineer.
* Ture Nerman
* Peter Harryson - Actor, entertainer
* Pernilla Wiberg - Alpine skier, double Olympic gold medalist
* Slagsmålsklubben - Electronic popgroup
* Malin Baryard - horse rider
* Helena Lundbäck - horse rider
* Eldkvarn - music group
* Spånka NKPG - House music collective
* Marduk (band) - music group
* Amy Diamond - singer
* 23 Till - music group
* Zarko Runic - local icon and celebrity
* Måns Stenberg - gymnast of the Swedish national team
* Anna Öhman - Elfwood artist, girl in the hot dog suit

Sports
* IFK Norrköping (Association football)
* Norrköping Dolphins (Basket)
* HC Vita Hästen (Icehockey)
* Vargarna (Speedway)
* Norrköpings KK (Swimming)

Twin cities: Esslingen, Germany; Klaksvík, Faroe Islands; Kópavogur, Iceland; Linz, Austria; Odense, Denmark; Riga, Latvia; Tampere, Finland; Trondheim, Norway; New York, USA

Web References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrköping
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/Strykjärnet_Motala_ström_Norrköping_april_2005.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/77/Gamla_vattentornet_Norrköping_2008-05-10_bild02.jpg

Östergötland

Norrköping Sweden

Coat of Arms Östergötland Sweden

Östergötland is a one of the traditional provinces of Sweden (landskap in Swedish) in the south of Sweden. It borders Småland, Västergötland, Närke, Södermanland, and the Baltic Sea. In older English literature one may also encounter the Latinized version Ostrogothia.

Administration
The provinces of Sweden serve no administrative functions. However, the corresponding administrative county, Östergötland County covers the entire province and parts of neighbouring provinces.

Heraldry
From 1560 Östergötland was represented with two separate arms until 1884 when the current one was granted. The arms is represented with a dukal coronet. Blazon: ‘Gules a Griffin with Dragon Wings, Tail and Tongue rampant Or armed, beaked, langued and membered Azure between four Roses Argent.’

Geography
From west to east, in the middle parts, extends the Östgöta Plain (Östgöta-slätten). It is largely agricultural. In the southern part of the province, the terrain becomes marked by the south-Swedish highlands, with hills and countless lakes. The northern parts are also hilly, and are otherwise dominated by forests.

Outside the eastern shore of Östergötland lies an archipelago, the islands and islets of which cover an area of 118 km². The Bråviken bay continues further into the country. Some of the more notable islands are Korsö, Gränsö, Arkö, Djursö, Yxnö, Finnö, Emtö, Fångö and Stora Ålö.

Traditionally, the region is divided into two halves, east and west of the river Stångån, which flows from the south into lake Roxen at Linköping.

The eastern part of Göta Canal traverses the province from the Baltic sea at Mem to lake Vättern at Motala.

* Highest mountain: Stenabohöjden 327 meters
* Largest lake: Vättern (Second largest lake of Sweden)

Towns
Cities and the year of their now defunct royal charter.
* Linköping (1287)
* Mjölby (1922)
* Motala (1881)
* Norrköping (1384)
* Skänninge (approximately 1200)
* Söderköping (approximately 1200)
* Vadstena (approximately 1400)

Today, the largest city in the province is Linköping, with Norrköping second. Skänninge is of virtually no importance; Mjölby is also small. An additional town without a royal charter that has emerged in the 20th century is Finspång.

History
The earliest mention of Östergötland (the Ostrogoths of Scandza) appears in the Getica by the Goth scholar Jordanes.

The traditions of Östergötland date back into the viking age, the undocumented Iron Age, and earlier, when this region had its own laws and kings (see Geatish kings and Wulfings). The region kept its own laws, the Östgötalagen, into the Middle Ages. Östergötland belonged to the Christian heartland of late Iron Age and early medieval Sweden. The Sverker and Bjälbo dynasties played pivotal roles in the consolidation of Sweden.

The province has about 50,000 ancient remains of different kinds. 1,749 are for instance grave fields.

Industry was formerly most significant in the cities of Norrköping (industries include Ericsson), Linköping (where SAAB have air craft industries where the Gripen fighter is produced) Finspång (metal works), and Motala (mechanical industries) .

Dukes of Östergötland

Swedish Princes have been created Dukes of various provinces. In English, the title ‘Duke of Östergötland’ is sometimes given as Duke of Ostrogothia. This is solely a nominal title.

* Prince Magnus
* Prince Johan (from 1609 until his death in 1618)
* Prince Fredrik Adolf (from 1772 until his death in 1803)
* Prince Oscar (from his birth in 1829 until he became King in 1872)
* Prince Carl Jr (from his birth in 1911 until his loss of succession rights in 1937)

Local accents
Formerly the östgöta dialect spectrum were considered true göta dialects, but is nowadays considered being a transition area between true göta dialects and svea dialects. The dialects are still used in rural areas, but in the cities, the Standard Swedish is spoken with a certain östgöta accent. The accent Östgötska can be distinguished from Standard Swedish just by accent and pronunciation of vowels ad sje- and tje- sounds, which makes Östgöta accent an eastern variety of the Götaland accent. In some parts bordering to Södermanland, a variety of the Svealand accent is spoken.

Sights
Ekenäs Castle, one of the best preserved renaissance castles in Sweden, has belonged to the families Sture and Banér. Löfstad Castle has its origin in the early 17th century having belonged to the von Fersen family. Vadstena Castle, built by the Vasa dynasty 1545–1620, is combined fortress and renaissance castle.

Vreta Abbey was the first convent to be established in Sweden, dating from the early 12th century, while Vadstena Abbey was the dominant convent in Medieval Sweden. Notable is also the ruins of the Alvastra Abbey near Omberg and Tåkern.

The cathedral in Linköping is the second largest church in Sweden and is very well-preserved from the Middle Age.

The Göta Canal crosses the province with several locks and the Kinda Canal connects the lakes in the southern parts of the province with the central plains.

Övralid Manor was the last home of Nobel Prize laureate Verner von Heidenstam 1925-1940.

There are several museums in all parts of the province, for example the Swedish Broadcasting Museum and the Motala Motor Museum.

Web References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Östergötland


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