Top Ten Swedish Attractions

Top Ten Swedish Attractions

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       Sweden is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe, bordered by Norway and Finland, and connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund. At 450,295 square km (173,860 square mi), Sweden is the 3rd largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of about 9.4 million. Sweden has a low population density of 21 inhabitants per square km (54/square mi) with the population mostly concentrated to the southern half of the country. About 85% of the population lives in urban areas. Sweden’s capital is Stockholm, which is also the largest city. Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages. In the 17th century, the country expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire. The empire grew to be one of the great powers of Europe in the 17th and early 18th century. Most of the conquered territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries. The eastern half of Sweden, present-day Finland, was lost to Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Sweden by military means forced Norway into a personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, adopting a non-aligned foreign policy in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Today, Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy of government and a highly developed economy. In 2010, it ranked 4th in the world in The Economist’s Democracy Index and 9th in the United Nations’ Human Development Index. In 2010, the World Economic Forum ranked Sweden as the 2nd most competitive country in the world, after Switzerland. According to the UN, it has the 3rd lowest infant mortality rate in the world. Sweden also has the lowest Gini coefficient of all countries (0.23) which makes Sweden the most equal country on earth in terms of economic division.

  1. Stockholm
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    Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality (2010), 1.37 million in the urban area (2010), and around 2.1 million in the 6,519 square km (2,517.00 square mi) metropolitan area (2010). As of 2010, the Stockholm metropolitan area is home to approximately 22% of Sweden’s population. Founded no later than 1250, possibly as early as 1187, Stockholm has long been one of Sweden’s cultural, media, political and economic centers. Its strategic location on 14 islands on the south-central east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, has been historically important. Stockholm has been nominated by GaWC as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha-. In The 2008 Global Cities Index, Stockholm ranked 24th in the world, 10th in Europe, and 1st in Scandinavia. Stockholm is known for its beauty, its buildings and architecture, its abundant clean and open water, and its many parks. It is sometimes referred to as Venice of the North. Stockholm is the site of the national Swedish government, the Parliament of Sweden (riksdagen), the Supreme Court of Sweden (Högsta domstolen), and the official residence of the Swedish monarch as well as the prime minister. Since 1980, the monarch has resided at Drottningholm Palace in Ekerö Municipality outside of Stockholm and uses the Royal Palace of Stockholm as his workplace and official residence. The government has its seat in Rosenbad and the parliament in the Parliament House.
    Links: Top Ten Towers, Top Ten Arenas, Top Ten Squares, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm,
  2. Gothenburg
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    Gothenburg is the 2nd largest city in Sweden by population and the 5th largest in the Nordic countries. Situated on the west coast of Sweden, the city proper has a population of 519,399, with 549,839 in the urban area and total of 937,015 inhabitants in the metropolitan area. Gothenburg is classified as a global city by GaWC, with a ranking of Gamma−. The City of Gothenburg was founded in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. It lies by the sea at the mouth of Göta Älv, the river running through the city, and is the largest seaport in the Nordic countries. Gothenburg is home to many students, as the city includes both the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Volvo was founded in Gothenburg in 1927. The city is a major center in Sweden for sports and home to the IFK Göteborg, GAIS and Örgryte IS association football teams as well as the Frölunda HC ice hockey team. Gothenburg is served by Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport, located 30 km (18.64 mi) southeast of the city center. The city is also served by Gothenburg City Airport, located 15 km (9.32 mi) from the city center.
    Links: Top Ten Opera Houses, Sculptures, Top Ten Squares, Top Ten Fountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gothenburg_Opera,
  3. Drottningholm Palace
    Drottningholm Palace
    The Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. It is located in Drottningholm. It is built on the island Lovön (in Ekerö Municipality of Stockholm County), and is one of Sweden’s Royal Palaces. It was originally built in the late 16th century. It served as a residence of the Swedish royal court for most of the 18th century. Apart from being the private residence of the Swedish royal family, the palace is a popular tourist attraction.
    Links: Palaces, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drottningholm_Palace,
  4. The Laponian Area
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    The Laponian area is a large mountainous wildlife area in the Lapland province in Northern Sweden, more precisely in the Gällivare Municipality, Arjeplog Municipality and Jokkmokk Municipality. The total area is about 9400 km², making it the world’s largest unmodified nature area to be still cultured by natives, the natives in this case being the reindeer herding Sami people. Only parts of the area is actually used for pasture by them. With such a large space, the geography of the area varies greatly; it is dominated by mountains, rivers and lakes. Each nature reserve and national park has its distinctive features. The amount of snow in winter and rain in summer is considerable. 95% of the area is protected as national parks or nature reserves. It consists of the national parks Muddus, Sarek, Padjelanta and Stora Sjöfallet, and the nature reserves Sjaunja and Stubba. The remaining 5% are located in the areas of Sulitelma, Tjuoltadalen, and Rapadalen (part of which is in the Sarek park). The village of Porjus is a natural point of entry to the Laponian area and has recently opened an information center. The Laponia area also contains three major hydropower stations with belonging basins and a big expansion of 100 wind power stations inside the world heritage area is planned. The highest mountain of the area is Sarektjåhkkå, at 2,089 m.
    Links: Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laponian_area,
  5. Stora Sjöfallet National Parks
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    Stora Sjöfallet is a national park in Norrbotten County in northern Sweden, in Gällivare Municipality and Jokkmokk Municipality. The national park is 1278 km² and thereby the 3rd largest in Sweden. It’s located about 20 km above the Arctic Circle and lies north and south of the lake system of the Lule River (which has been broken out of the park because of hydropower construction). It is situated by the Norwegian border. The area was declared a national park in 1909.
    Links: National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stora_Sj%C3%B6fallet_National_Park,
  6. Visby
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    Visby is a locality and the seat of Gotland Municipality in Gotland County, Sweden with 22,593 inhabitants (2010). It is the only locality with historical city status on the island of Gotland; it is arguably the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia. Among the most notable historical remains are the 3.4 km (2.1 mi) long stone wall called Ringmuren (“the Ring Wall”), that encircles the city and the old church ruins. The name “Visby” comes from the Old Norse Vis, (genitive singular of Vi) meaning sacrificial place, and by, meaning “city.” Visby is a popular vacation destination for Scandinavians during the summer and receives thousands of tourists every year.
    Links: Top Ten Cathedrals, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visby,
  7. The High Coast and Kvarken Archipelago
    The High Coast and Kvarken ArchipelagoThe High Coast and Kvarken Archipelago1The High Coast and Kvarken Archipelago2
    Kvarken is the narrow region in the Gulf of Bothnia separating the Bothnian Bay (the inner part of the gulf) from the Bothnian Sea. The distance from Swedish mainland to Finnish mainland is around 80 km while the distance between the outmost islands is only 25 km. The water depth in the Kvarken region is only around 25 m. The region also has an unusual rate of land rising at about 1 cm a year. On the Finnish side of Kvarken, there is a large archipelago. Most of the small islands are inhabited. The archipelago is smaller on the Swedish side of the region, and the islands have much steeper shores. The Kvarken region was historically important also, because mail was delivered across Kvarken when the sea was completely frozen from the Swedish to the Finnish coast. This mail route was used frequently during the period of Swedish rule. In the group of islands in the “middle” of the Kvarken region, in Swedish called Valsörarna – Finnish Valassaaret, is a 36 m high lighthouse designed by Henry LePaute who worked for Gustave Eiffel’s engineering bureau. The structural similarity between the lighthouse (built in 1885) and the Eiffel tower (built in 1889) is quite obvious. The lighthouse is now automated as are most lighthouses in Finland.
    Links: Top Ten Architectural Works by Gustave Eiffel, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_Sites_in_Sweden,
  8. Struve Geodetic Arc
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    The Struve Geodetic Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through ten countries and over 2,820 km, which yielded the first accurate measurement of a meridian. The chain was established and used by the German-born Russian scientist Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve in the years 1816 to 1855 to establish the exact size and shape of the earth. At that time, the chain passed merely through two countries: Union of Sweden-Norway and the Russian Empire. The Arc’s first point is located in Tartu Observatory, where Struve conducted much of his research. In 2005, the chain was inscribed on the World Heritage List as a memorable ensemble of the chain made up of 34 commemorative plaques or built obelisks out of the original 265, main station points which are marked by drilled holes in rocks, iron crosses, cairns, others. Measurement of the triangulation chain comprises 258 main triangles and 265 geodetic vertices. The northernmost point is located near Hammerfest in Norway and the southernmost point near the Black Sea in Ukraine.
    Links: Top 100 Scientists, Top Ten Scientific Theories, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Struve_Geodetic_Arc,
  9. Stora Alvaret
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    The Stora Alvaret is a limestone barren plain on the island of Öland, Sweden. Because of the thin soil mantle and high pH levels, a great assortment of vegetation is found including numerous rare species. The area of this formation exceeds 260 square km (100 square mi), making it the largest such expanse in Europe and comprising over one fourth of the land area of the island. Stora Alvaret is not devoid of trees, contrary to a common misconception; in fact, it holds a variety of sparse stunted trees akin to a pygmy forest. The Stora Alvaret, sometimes called the Great Alvar, is a dagger shaped expanse almost 40 km (25 mi) long and about 10 km (6.2 mi) at the widest north end.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stora_Alvaret,
  10. Tanumshede
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    Tanumshede is a locality and the seat of Tanum Municipality in Västra Götaland County, Sweden with 1,697 inhabitants (2010).
    Links: Cave Paintings, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanumshede,
  11. Hovgården
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    Hovgården is an archaeological site on the Lake Mälaren island of Adelsö in Ekerö Municipality in central-eastern Sweden. During the Viking Age, the center of the prospering Mälaren Valley was the settlement Birka, founded in the mid-8th century and abandoned in the late 10th century and located on the island Björkö just south of Adelsö. Hovgården is believed to have been the site from where kings and chieftains ruled the area. Hovgården is located on the flat country north-west of the Romanesque Adelsö Church, characterized by a narrow rift valley stretching north to forest-laden moraines. These historical meadows lands were cultivated in the 19th century and have hardly been altered since, as several well-preserved 18th century farmyards bears witness of.
    Links: Top Ten Stones/Rocks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hovg%C3%A5rden,
  12. Links: Top Ten Swedish Hotels, Top Ten Swedish Restaurants, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweden,

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