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The country's second largest city after Stockholm and its main seaport. It lies on the Kattegat channel at the mouth of the Gota River. It was founded in 1624 near the site of a medieval settlement, and the city plan - with its defensive canal system -was based on the Dutch model, Its harbor, ice-free throughout the year, is a base for ferries serving Denmark and across the North Sea to Britain. The main industries today are car and ball-bearing production, foodstuffs, textiles and clothing.
Gothenburg is an important seat of learning: Gothenburg University was founded in 1891, and the country's oldest technical university -Chalmers' University of Technology - was founded in 1829 by a donation of an English engineer named William Chalmers. The city also has an oceanographic institute, a medical research centre, a botanical garden, museums and theaters.
Population 425 500
The largest island in the Baltic, covering an area of about 3140 km2 (1210 sq miles), 150 km (93 miles) south of Stockholm. It has been pan of Sweden since 1645. It was an important trade centre in Viking times and reached its peak of prosperity in the middle Ages. It was once a haunt of pirates.
Its ports include the walled city of VISBY, Slite and a number of fishing harbors. The island has 90 medieval churches and is rich in archaeological remains, including some 200 runic stones - stones inscribed with ancient Scandinavian symbols. The island's limestone, the basis of a modern cement industry, has been exported throughout the Baltic. Fishing, sheep and sugar beet contribute also to the economy, but Gotland's main industry is tourism.
Each summer the island is the setting for the Stanga Games. Among the events are an early form of tennis, a throwing contest in which the competitors hurl a heavy stone disc, and a contest resembling the Scottish Highland event of tossing the caber.
Population 56 100
Next: Boras, Trelleborg, Linkoping, Norrkoping