"Maria's Göteborg" Göteborg by maria_hz
Göteborg Travel Guide: 941 reviews and 1,855 photos
Göteborg was founded as a defensive outpost, but also as a trading port. The area has been inhabited for thousands of years, and was fought over by Danes, Swedes and Norwegians in turn. The geographical area spanning present-day Göteborg has seen the development of several settlements, but none of them had the potential that the Kings of Sweden envisioned (one settlement, for example, was burned down only after a few years by the settlers after a particularly fierce Danish campaign and siege). Therefore King Gustav Adolf decided that a new city with proper Dane-proof defences would be established in what today is inside the moat in 1619. So in a sense the 17th century city builders only reinforced what had already been there for centuries. The Dutch architects of the city defensive walls and forts built the city on the already widely used dutch model.
These beginnings are still visible in the city; the canals around the heart of the city as well as the forts (Skansen Lejonet, Skansen Kronan) atop two hills in the city centre. Trading soon became the city's main source of income, and many a ship with destination East Asia set sail from Gothenburg, more often than not returning with precious cargo such as silks, spices and china.
The rich merchants of the Swedish East India Company would then in turn invest their wealth in charitable causes to address local issues, such as the Sahlgrenska hospital and Chalmers University of Technology, thus impacting on the lives of generations to come.
Göteborg also became an important Scandinavian port -- at some point, all bananas eaten in Sweden, Norway and Finland were shipped through Göteborg. Up until the late 1900s, also manufacturing industries were an important part of the local business.
Today, Göteborg is the top-2 city of Sweden and has much going for it, despite the fact that the traditional manufacturing industries that once was the lifeblood of local business has long since moved out their production facilities and the port business has shrunk. Göteborg is also an important regional centre in Western Sweden and home to about half a million people.
Nowadays, the local business community mainly focuses on trading (Göteborg is still the main port in Scandinavia), R&D and higher education. Tourism is also providing an important source of income, as the city offers a wide range of things to do and see, many of which are famous throughout Scandinavia.
The Göteborg people are very proud (rightly so) of their city, and they also cultivate their own dialect and are known for their humour. Many Swedish comedians are from Göteborg, and jokes abound about local landmarks (see pic) and can be seen in company names and building names. Unfortunately many of those company names are not so funny when translated as they are puns... (Examples for all of you who know a bit of Swedish: Floating car park: P-Arken, hairdresser's: Självfallet, courier service: Budfadern -- to name but a few....)
Despite being the second city of Sweden, Göteborg is still surrounded by hills and lots of green areas and to the West, the archipelago and the sea. There are many nice hilly areas to go to around Göteborg, and this picture is taken from a hilltop not too far from the city centre, towards the Göta River and Hisingen island. Göteborg is great for hiking both in the city and outside, and professional cyclists will love the challenge the hills offer.
For more info on where to go, you can also check out some of my travel tips.
I love Gothenburg for the fresh sea air, the relaxed attitude and humour of the locals, the size and the sparkle. I love the huzzle and buzzle of this metropolis and the Continental feel this place has - well, it was established by Dutchmen, populated by Swedes and Danes in days yonder, nowadays people from all over the world live her :).
But most of all I love this spot on earth because this is the place where I spent my first formative years, which laid the foundation for my love of the sea, seafood and swimming. Here I was conditioned to rocky hills and salty water.
I also admire my parents tremendously for what they achieved by coming to this place and I love the friends I got while beginning my Earth journey.
Hope you will enjoy your real or virtual stay at Göteborg :)
- Pros:Lots to see, great seafood and great people
- Cons:can't think of any
- In a nutshell:Port to Scandinavia
The Göteborg area was part of a much-wanted piece of land, which was fought over by Swedes, Danes and Norwegians, and as... more travel advice
Outside Göteborg, on its return from China and India, the East India company ship called Götheborg sunk just a little... more travel advice
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