Gothenburg, Sweden - in the heart of Scandinavia.
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Gothenburg is located on the west coast and is the second largest city in Sweden. The city has always served as a major port, and for many years shipbuilding was one of its most important industries. Today, areas historically used for shipbuilding are being transformed into modern residential neighborhoods. It is easy to get to Gothenburg. Connections are extensive with express trains, ferries from Denmark, Norway and Germany, and daily flights from all major European airports.
Gothenburgis known for its coastline, waterways and the ferries linking the many offshore islands.It is a city with broad avenues, canals, a living harbour and well-preserved buildings. The sea is always present, in the shape of Scandinavia’s largest port and in the river that runs through the city.The archipelago with its smooth rocky shore and countless small islands has a unique appeal and is a must for every visitor.Gothenburg has many green spaces in the central parts of the city: the 19th century park Trädgårdsföreningen, the Botanical Garden and Slottsskogen.
EventsThe city centre is a concentrated area of hotels and restaurants, culture and entertainment, tourist attractions, event arenas and a congress hall, all within easy walking distance. The central location of Gothenburg makes it a favorite host city for large international events, and has hosted highlights as the World Championships in Athletics, the Three Tenors Opera and the European Summit. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Sweden’s national orchestra, has reached world fame. The Opera House is renowned for its modern programme of performances, its architecture and central harbour location. The shopping mall Nordstan in the city centre is Scandinavia’s largest shopping mall with over 200 shops.
Trade and IndustryGothenburg is renowned for its rapid growth of research and expertise companies. Several of the most renowned industrial companies in Scandinavia, such as Volvo, founded in Gothenburg in 1927, SKF, Mölnlycke Health Care and Hasselblad, operate from and have their head offices here.
Climate Gothenburg has four distinct seasons. Despite its northern latitude, temperatures are mild throughout the year and much warmer than places in similar latitude, because of the warm Gulf Stream. Summers are warm and pleasant and with sunny and bright evenings. During summertime Swedes get 18 hours of daylight, compared to only around 8 hours in late December.Winters are usually mild but can occasionally get cold, with periods of snow although with clear, sunny days.
The Beautiful West CoastGothenburg is the gateway to Sweden’s west coast and its archipelago of 8,000 islands. The people of the West Coast love the sea, and it is one of the region’s with most boats per inhabitant in the world – there are 8 people per boat. Old fishing villages with wooden houses in many colors are scattered across the area.Its coastal location and closeness to the North Sea makes Gothenburg a paradise for those who enjoy fish and shellfish. Enjoy prawns, oysters, lobster and fish of highest quality. Gothenburg's fish and seafood restaurants take well care of their ingredients - five Gothenburg restaurants have a star in the Guide Michelin.
Sweden has 9.5 million inhabitants. More than one third of the population lives in the three largest cities Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Member of the EU since 1995.
Facts Capital: Stockholm
Language: Swedish, English is compulsory in all Swedish schools.
Currency: 1 krona=100 öre
Area: 450,000 km² (174,000 sq mi)
Political system: Parliamentary Democracy
The Nordic languages Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic are closely related. Finnish, on the other hand, is not a Germanic language, and is completely different.
Sweden is the fifth biggest country in Europe. The extreme distance from north to south is 1,600 km - if you turn Sweden around at the southern end, you will see the north end up in Naples in Italy!
With only 9,5 million inhabitants it is not a surprise that Sweden is dominated by nature. It is perfect for those who love space, clean air, beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities. Lapland is often called the last wilderness in Europe, with high mountains, swamps and wild rivers, treeless highlands and birch forests. In this part of Sweden the Saami live, one of the last nomad peoples in Europe.
MonarchySweden as a kingdom was founded in the 13th century, and has since then been a constitutional monarchy, in which King Carl XVI Gustaf is head of state, but royal power has long been limited to official and ceremonial functions. Ever since 1980 the oldest child inherits the crown: no matter if they are male or female.
Nature The country is characterized by its long coastlines, large forests and numerous lakes.There are over 95 000 lakes and 2700 km of coastline. The Swedish archipelago consists of more than 60 000 islands. Half of the land surface is covered with forest and less than 10% is farmland. The Swedish countryside is open to everyone, based on the Right of Public Access (Allemansrätten). You are allowed to walk, jog, cycle, ski, pick berries, flowers and camp everywhere, even on other people’s land, provided that you don’t cause any damage.
Swedish ExportSweden is an export-oriented mixed economy. Timber, hydropower and iron constitute the base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Sweden's engineering sector accounts for 50% of exports, but telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. Among Swedish companies that have reached fame world-wide are Volvo, Ericsson, Vattenfall, Skanska, Sony Ericsson, SCA, Electrolux, TeliaSonera, Scania, H&M, IKEA, Nordea, Preem, Atlas Copco, Securitas, AstraZeneca, SAAB, and SKF. The World Economic Forum competitiveness index ranks Sweden the 4th most competitive economy in the world.
WelfareSweden is one of the most highly developed welfare states and with a higher level of social spending to GDP than any other nation. After World War II a series of successive social reforms transformed the country into one of the most equal and developed. To this day Sweden consistently ranks at the top of league tables for health, literacy and Human Development. Contributing to the welfare is also the fact that Sweden hasn’t been in war for over 200 years, although taking active part in conflict-solving.
Income is relatively flatly distributed, Sweden has the lowest Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality of income), 0.23, of any other country. Total tax revenue was 47.8% of GDP, the second highest tax burden among developed countries
Many of the companies founded by early pioneers still remain major international brands - Gustaf Dalén founded AGA, Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and instituted the Nobel Prize, Lars Magnus Ericsson started the company Ericsson and Anders Celcius invented the Celcius scale.The traditional engineering industry is still a major source of Swedish inventions, but pharmaceuticals, electronics and other high-tech industries are gaining ground. Tetra Pak was an invention for storing liquid foods, Losec, was the world's best-selling drug in the 1990s, developed by AstraZeneca. Today, Sweden owns the highest number of patents per million inhabitants in the world, and only ten other countries hold more patents than Sweden.
Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite
Carl Linnaeus, one of the fathers of modern ecology
Anders Celsius, inventor of the Celsius temperature.
HealthHealthcare in Sweden is similar in quality to other developed nations. Sweden ranks in the top five with respect to low infant mortality. It ranks no one in life expectancy in Europe and second in the Human Development Index. Swedish women have their first child in average at 30 years old, the oldest in Europe together with Ireland and the Netherlands.The health care is governed by the 21 “landsting” of Sweden and is mainly funded by taxes, with nominal fees for patients.
EducationChildren aged 1–5 years old are guaranteed a place in a public kinder garden, and between the age of 6 and 16 children attend compulsory comprehensive school. After completing the 9th grade, 90% continue with a three-year upper secondary school. The school system is largely financed by taxes and offers among other services free lunch, free bus transport, and after-school centres open to all children with working parents, up to the age of 12.
There are a large number of universities in Sweden, the oldest and largest ones are situated in Uppsala, Lund, Gothenburg and Stockholm.
All education is free for Swedish and EU students, tuition fees were only recently imposed for university studies for students from outside the EU.
Interest in fashion is big in Sweden and the country is headquartering famous brands like H&M, J. Lindeberg, Acne, Gina Tricot, Lindex, Tiger of Sweden, Odd Molly, Cheap Monday, Dr. Denim, Gant, Resteröds, Nudie Jeans, WESC, WAX and Filippa K within its borders. These companies, however, are composed largely of buyers who import fashionable goods from throughout Europe and America, continuing the trend of Swedish business toward multinational economic dependency like many of its neighbours.
CinemaSwedes have been fairly prominent in the film area through the years, several successful Swedish Hollywood actors can be mentioned: Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, Max von Sydow, Dolph Lundgren, Lena Olin, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Stellan Skarsgård, Peter Stormare, Izabella Scorupco, Pernilla August, Anita Ekberg, Alexander Skarsgård, Ingrid Thulin and Malin Åkerman. Amongst several directors who have made internationally successful films can be mentioned: Ingmar Bergman, Lukas Moodysson and Lasse Hallström.
Sweden is the world’s third largest producer of pop music, with ABBA, Roxette, Meja, the Ark, BWO, E-Type, Millencolin, Robyn, Europe, Hammerfall, Mando Diao, the Knife, the Hives, In Flames, Ace of Base and the Cardigans among its best-selling artists. Swedish producers like Max Martin frequently records and writes major hits for stars like Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Madonna, A-ha, NSYNC, Usher, Pink, Katy Perry and Pitbull.