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Sweden

Sweden Destinations Travel Guide

 

 

 

Flag of Sweden

Language: Swedish

Calling code: 46

Currency: Swedish krone (SEK)

 

 

 

The Kingdom of Sweden is a parliamentary monarchy in Northern Europe. The national territory covers the eastern part of the Scandinavian peninsula and the islands Gotland and Öland . Sweden is a member of the Nordic Council and since 1995 the European Union , but not a member of NATO and militarily non- aligned.

Sweden borders the Kattegat , the states of Norway and Finland, as well as the Baltic Sea . Since the opening of the Öresund Bridge in 2000, there is also a direct land connection to Denmark . Sweden has about 221,800 islands, Gotland (2994 km²) and Öland (1347 km², both in the Baltic Sea) and Orust (346 km², north of Gothenburg ) are the three largest. The longest extension from north to south is 1572 km, from east to west 499 km. The land border with Norway is 1619 km long, that of Finland 586 km.

While large parts of the country are flat to hilly, along the Norwegian border, the massifs of the Skanden rise to over 2000 m altitude. The highest peak is the Kebnekaise with about 2,100 m. There are 30 national parks spread over the country . The largest in terms of area are in the northwest of the country.

 

Travel Destinations in Sweden

 

Stockholm (Sweden)

Drottningholm Palace

Drottnigholm Palace is a royal residence constructed on the island Lovön in Drottnigholm. Its construction started in the late 16th century.
Stockholm Archipelago

Stockholm Archipelago is a cluster of 24,000 islands situated East of Stockholm, capital of Sweden, in the Baltic Sea.
Stockholm

Stockholm is the largest city in Sweden and also its capital. The city was found in the 13th century on a small island in Strommel channel between Baltic Sea and Lake Malaren.
 

 

Bohuslän (Sweden)

Bohus Fortress

Bohus Fortress is a historic medieval stronghold situated in Kungälv, Bohuslän of Sweden. It was constructed in 1308.
Carlsten Castle

Carlsten Castle is a citadel in Marstrand. It was constructed following the Treaty of Roskilde when Swedish Empire acquired large territories.
Gothenburg

Gothenburg is second largest city in Sweden and also its largest port. It is spread over two provinces Bohuslän and Västergötland.
 

 

Dalarna (Sweden)

Fulufjället National Park

Fulufjället National Park is a nature reserve within Älvdalen Municipality in Dalarma County of Sweden.
Great Copper Mountain

Great Copper Mountain in Falun region of Sweden is a historic abandoned complex that was used for extraction of copper.
Lake Siljan

Lake Siljan is a beautiful pristine lake situated in Dalarna Province of Sweden. It covers a total area of 354 km² with a total depth of 120 meters.
Njupeskar Waterfall

Njupeskar Waterfall is a picturesque waterfall along a flow of Njupån river. It is situated in Fulufjället National Park in Dalarma County of Sweden.

 

Lapland (Sweden)

Muddus National Park

Muddus National Park is a nature reserved in Norrbotten County of Sweden. It covers a total area of 493 sq km (191 sq mi).
     

 

 

Norrbotten County (Sweden)

Padjelanta National Park

Padjelanta National Park is a pristine nature reserve situated in Norrbotten County. Padjelanta National Park covers a total area of 1,984 sq km.
Sarek National Park

Sarek National Park is a nature preserve in the Norbotten County of Sweden. It covers a total area of 1,970 km2 (760 sq mi).
   

 

Oland (Sweden)

Borgholm Castle

Borgholm Castle is historic medieval citadel situated in Borgholm of Sweden. Borgholm Castle was originally constructed in the 12th century.
Eketorp Castle

Eketorp Castle is a unique circular medieval citadel situated in Oland region of Sweden.
   

 

Östergötland (Sweden)

Bjärka-Säby Castle

Bjärka-Säby Castle is a beautiful baroque residence situated near Linkoping. Despite its military name it is not actually a castle.

 

Skåne (Sweden)

Bäckaskog Castle

Bäckaskog Castle is a medieval castle situated in the Kiaby parish. It was constructed in the 13th century as a Roman Catholic monastery.
Bosjökloster Castle

Bosjökloster or Bosjo Abbey is a actually a former monastery that stands on the shores of Lake Ringsjön in the Höör Municipality of Sweden.
   

 

Småland (Sweden)

Brahehus

Brahehus is a historic structure situated in Gränna, Småland of Sweden. Brahehus was erected in 1640s by Count Per Brahe.
Kalmar Castle

Construction of Kalmar Castle was started here on the orders of Magnus III of Sweden Ladulås in 1280's.
   

 

Västergötland (Sweden)

Karlsborg Fortress

Karlsborg Fortress is an old citadel in Karlsborg, Västergötland of Sweden. It was constructed in 1819.
     

 

 

The Scandinavian peninsula is mentioned for the first time in the Naturalis historia Pliny the Elder from the year 79. He writes about Scatinavia , a large island where the Hillevionen people live. Some see it as the first mention of the Swedes. In 98, Tacitus ' Germania mentions a mention of the suiones (paragraph 44), who allegedly live "in the ocean itself" and have a mighty fleet. On the world map of Ptolemy in 120 s Scandinavia is first mapped cartographically . In the fifth century Prokop described the island of Thulein the north, which is ten times larger than Britain and on which no sun shines in winter for 40 days.

During the early Middle Ages (around 800 to 1000) Vikings ruled the European seas and coastal areas. Swedish Vikings, also called Varangians , oriented mainly to the east, to Russia . From the ninth century onwards, the Swedes, also called Rus , participated in the construction of Kievan Rus . The first contact with Christianity came from the missionary activities of St. Ansgar , Archbishop of Hamburg and Bremen. He made two missionary trips to Birka , the most important trading place of the Vikings in Mälaren , around 830 and 853which, however, did not succeed. In 1008, however, Olof Skötkonung , King of Sweden, was baptized. But until the 12th century, large parts of the population were pagan. So in 1160 King Erik IX was murdered by anti-Christian nobles after visiting the Mass.

In the year 1397, the Danish Queen Margaret I formed the Kalmar Union . By inheritance and marriage she had previously gained the Norwegian and Swedish crown. This union of three kingdoms under Danish Union kings remained until 1523, even if the enforcement of the central power ultimately failed. The Kalmar Union was increasingly marked by internal struggles, especially between royal central power and aristocracy. At certain times, the Union kings were also recognized in Sweden, but in between ruled the Swedish king Karl Knutsson (1448-57, 1464-65 and 1467-70) and Swedish imperial administrators . The conflict culminated under the ReichsverweserSten Sture the Younger . The Danish Union King Christian II defeated his Swedish opponents in 1520 and executed about a hundred oppositionists in the so-called Stockholm massacre in November of the same year . This led to the rebellion of Gustav Wasa , who was appointed in 1521 as Reichsverweser, and the final collapse of the Kalmar Union. In 1523, Gustav I Wasa was elected king. After the popular uprising, the Swedish Empire suffered from high debts and Gustav I looked for ways to improve the financial situation. For this he gave, among other things, a fishing monopoly to the Gävlefischer . The brothers Olavus andLaurentius Petri had made acquaintance with Martin Luther in Germany . The opposition of Lutheranism to monasteries created an opportunity to refresh the financial situation. For this reason, the king supported the brothers Petri. As the population initially did not come into contact with Protestant ideas, the Reformation was gradually introduced. Many traditions that were to be repealed in German Protestantism were retained. In 1544, Sweden was declared a Protestant kingdom.

Especially the 17th century of Swedish history is marked by attempts by the royal family to gain a hegemonic position in Europe. The civil war in Russia enabled Sweden to gain control of Estonia . From 1611 to 1613, Denmark and Sweden fought the calamity war , leading to a victory for the Danes and the transfer of Finnmark to Norway under Danish rule . Later, Gustav II Adolf actively engaged in the Thirty Years' War and conquered large parts of northern Germany , including Western Pomerania , the Archdiocese of Bremenand the diocese of Verden . In 1632, however, he fell in the battle of Lützen . In 1648, Sweden achieved great coastal areas on the soil of the Holy Roman Empire in the Peace of Westphalia . After a war against Denmark in 1658 in the peace of Roskilde today's southern Sweden including the important Schonen added. The great power dreams came under a sudden end under Karl XII. who was struck by the Russians and the Danes in the Great Northern War . Sweden then had to surrender his possessions in the Baltic States. In this time also fall various colonization effortsoutside of Europe. These included the establishment of Swedish branches and colonies in North America (1638-1655) and West Africa (1650-1659), but ultimately failed.

 

Only after the loss of Finland to the Russian Tsarist Empire in 1809 and the Napoleonic Wars , as a result of which Sweden was transferred from Denmark to the Kingdom of Norway, did the Swedish involvement end in wars and major hostilities. The so often sworn Swedish neutrality policy began. However, until the 20th century it was never an official political doctrine , but more an expression of pragmatic politics. So one was quite tempted (and had already mobilized in each case), in the Schleswig-Holstein survey (1848-1851) and in the German-Danish War (1864) to the Duchy of Schleswig and South Jutlandto intervene on Denmark's side as well as to militarily prevent Norway's proclamation of independence from Sweden in 1905. Other crisis situations arose for Sweden, especially in the Second World War , when they supported Finland in the so-called winter war between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1939/40 with volunteers and relief supplies, and after the company Weserübung .

In July 1945, a Social Democratic ally government abrogated the coalition government, initially under Per Albin Hansson , after his death in October 1946 under Erlander . In the next few years, the social reform work interrupted by the war was resumed and a modern welfare state was created according to the principles of the aforementioned Swedish model. In parallel with the development of the social system, work was also underway on constitutional reform, which was gradually implemented in the 1970s by several basic laws (see the Constitution of Sweden ).

Following the recommendation that the country be admitted to the United Nations by UNSC Resolution 8 , it joined the International Community on 19 November 1946.

On September 3, 1967, the Dagen H , traffic was switched from left-hand traffic to legal traffic. Minister of Transport was at the time Olof Palme , who replaced in 1969 Prime Minister Erlander in office. In the coming years, Palme shaped Sweden's image abroad through his committed foreign policy: through his harsh criticism of the Vietnam War , as a UN mediator in the Iran-Iraq war and through his international disarmament initiatives, Domestically, he encountered several difficulties. On the one hand, the constitutional reform and the new parliamentary situation after the 1970 election made stable cooperation across the block boundaries difficult, while on the other, economic problems, especially after the 1973 oil crisis , overshadowed social reform work. In addition, the election of 1973 led to a stalemate in parliament: Government and opposition each received 175 seats. Often, votes in the Reichstag were therefore decided by lottery. The nuclear dispute divided the Social Democrats and brought in a new political factor, environmental policy and the green movement, and the trade union demand for labor fund introduction exacerbated the opposition to the bourgeois parties. AfterElection defeat of the Social Democrats on September 19, 1976 , Sweden was ruled by various bourgeois coalitions until Palm returned to power in 1982 as Prime Minister of a Social Democratic government.

With the submarine crisis the emergence of so-called "unknown diving objects" is called off the coast since 1980th Finally, on October 27, 1981, the Soviet submarine U-137 was stranded in front of the Karlskrona naval base - in the middle of the military ban zone. The accident caused a veritable submarine panic. The Soviet captain Guschtschin claimed that all navigation instruments had failed. The closer backgrounds remained unclear.

The Social Democrats were heavily influenced by the neo-liberal ideas of the United States and Britain. Under the new Finance Minister Kjell-Olof Feldt fierce debates broke out over neo-liberal reforms of the welfare state. The conflict was particularly heated between Feldt and the leader of the trade union confederation ( LO ), Stig Malm. This "war of roses" ultimately led to the departure of Feldt in 1990.

 

After Palmes murder 1986 took over Ingvar Carlsson the government and led its policy in all important points further. At the same time, the assassination of Palmes caused such a shock that led to a great silence in the political struggle. A political change of power took place in 1991 with the electoral loss of the Social Democrats. Carl Bildt , who had called for a change of system in the sense of neoliberal ideas, formed a coalition government of bourgeois parties and began to realize these ideas. The period is characterized by continued economic crisis (begun in 1990) and at that time considered necessary economic transformations. In the Reichstag election in 1994, the Social Democrats won again and Ingvar Carlsson formed a minority government. In 1996 Ingvar Carlsson transferred his duties to Göran Persson . The policy of the following years focused on a stabilization of public finances , which had deep interventions in the social system. Despite the discontent caused by these interventions, Social Democracy in the 1998 and 2002 elections was able to maintain its governmental position due to the support of the Left Party and the Greens .

In 1995, following a referendum in which 52.3% voted in favor of accession on 13 November 1994, Sweden acceded to the European Union (see enlargement of the European Union ). Already the referendum of 1994, but also the following elections and opinion polls showed that there is a widespread skepticism towards the EU. Therefore, Sweden decided in 1997 not to participate in monetary union . Finally, in autumn 2003, this question was put to the vote of the people. A majority of the population voted against the introduction of the euro . The referendum was based on the assassination of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh overshadowed a few days before, which was seen by many as Persson's successor.

 

 

 

 

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