"Textile capital of Sweden" Borås by diocletianvs

Borås Travel Guide: 20 reviews and 27 photos


All I knew about Borås was that it is a town in Sweden, and that I have some relatives living there. I visited them for the Easter 2003 and was pleasantly surprised by this small town situated some 50 km east of Göteborg.

Borås is known as the textile centre of Sweden, and now is a vibrant centre for small business and trade. It has a lot of parks and green spaces, including the zoo which is one of the largest and best in Sweden.

It is a planned town established by the king Gustav II Adolf in 1621 alongside the ridges of river Viskan. Unfortunately, town witnessed several big fires so in the centre you won’t find many old buildings, but the street structure is more or less authentic.

Since I was visiting relatives here, don’t expect tips on hotels and restaurants.

About Borås

In the 17th century farmers in the Västergötland area of West Sweden became increasingly interested in trade and craftsmanship in order to supplement their means of livelihood. A textile manufacturing developed early on, but there was one problem, however. By the decision of the king, Gustav II Adolf, all trade and craftsmanship had to be conducted and controlled in the towns - nowhere else. The farmers in the rural districts had the right to barter their own livestock and products, but that was all. Goods such as fabric and other textiles had to be taken to the cities to be sold.

After several unsuccesful visits to the King farmers were finally informed in 1620 that they would either have to make their way to an existing town in Västergötland, or designate "another convenient and practical district or place", where a new town could be built up.

And so it was. In 1621, a new town was founded on the designated site around the hamlet of Torpa, alongside the ridges of river Viskan.

Initially, it was difficult to get the rural population to move into the new town. The problem was solved a few years later by a royal writ. This unique privilege gave all citizens of Borås the right to carry on house-to-house peddling throughout the country on condition that they only sold locally-produced goods. These new commercial rights gave Borås a unique position in Sweden and meant the start of rapid growth for the town. Merchandising had found its Mecca.

In the 19th century town witnessed growth of industry in the district and soon people were occupied with weaving or other kinds of production in almost every crofter's cottage. The finished products were then sold to the traders. As the number of spinning mills, textile mills and dye-works burgeoned, more and more people moved to the town and embarked on a new life there. New suburbs gradually developed and since then Borås has expanded in all directions.

Today Borås is still strong textile production centre in Sweden, with the population of over 60,000 (Borås region counting nearly 100,000 inhabitants). Several big famous companies have based their production here, and new enterprises are continually breaking new grounds, ensuring that textile tradition remains strong. Town is the home of 9000 large and small-size companies in a wide range of different businesses. There is an enormous spirit of enterprise, and 500 new companies are set up in the region each year. Most were small enterprises and the owners ran them in their spare time. Some of these companies expanded substantially and are now ranked as some of the largest in the business. House-to-house peddling of the past is replaced by mail order trade today. At the beginning of the 1950s there were over 100 mail order companies in Borås.

Main text source: www.boras.se

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots of parks and outdoor spaces
  • Cons:Not much to do... (but close to Göteborg)
  • In a nutshell:Seems like a pleasant place to live.
  • Last visit to Borås: Apr 2003
  • Intro Updated Sep 15, 2003
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Reviews (14)

Comments (16)

  • hopang's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Fabulous Borås page, it must be said! We have been to Borås several times. Rådhus, Kulturhus and Gustav Adolfs Kyrka look amazing. Thanks for sharing. ~ho & pang

  • Mar 16, 2009 at 10:14 PM

    Boros seems to be a very nice town. I can imagine natural surroundinds such as peaceful forest and magnificient lake.I wonder if there is any lake not far from Boros? People who live there are not usual they are fabulous...

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2008 at 10:30 AM

    Interesting that this place only started getting prosperous when the king gave them permission to do house-to-house peddling throughout the country. But I think it's better that they now do it by mail order, so as not to get on people's nerves so much.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Oct 2, 2007 at 11:29 AM

    Boras seems to be a nice little town but somehow quite empty of people.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2006 at 12:37 AM

    Guten Morgen Niksa, nice little page about another Swedish gem ...unfotuntaly I missed visiting Boras when I was in Goteborg ...anyway, it looks like every Swedish city has something named after Gustav Adolf ... ;-)

  • DPando's Profile Photo
    Jan 9, 2006 at 5:22 AM

    mm so much interesting place hidden like that to touristic tours!!! wow

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Aug 12, 2005 at 8:21 PM

    interesting intro, well done page Niksa

  • JetlagCity's Profile Photo
    Feb 6, 2005 at 10:53 AM

    I always enjoy checking out these out of the way places where so few people have been. And any tradition with a big cake sounds good to me!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 19, 2004 at 9:15 AM

    I have been to Borås twice to visit a friend who lived there. But I have no pictures (except a few from a New Year Party). Nice to see yours!

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2004 at 1:46 PM

    I like it.

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