Stockholm

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The capital and largest city in Sweden. Inner Stockholm has a population of around 700,000, and the city with suburbs has a population of roughly 1.8 million. It is pronounced stok'hôlm.

Geography

What first strikes the visitor to Stockholm is that there is water everywhere. The city's core is situated on a number of islands in an archipelago where the lake Mälaren meets the Baltic Sea.

History

The earliest mention of Stockholm in in writing dates from 1252. At the time it was an important trade central for the iron trade from the mines in Bergslagen, since it was here that foregin ships made their purchases. It is said (although not entirely certain) that Stockholm was founded by Birger Jarl. Jarl was not his last name, but his title. A jarl was the right hand of the Swedish king, and the jarl was a very powerful man in medieval Sweden. Stockholm was originally founded to protect Sweden from invading navies, coming up through the Baltic Sea and then travelling through Mälaren to pillage cities such as Sigtuna. The first building in Stockholm was a fortification with the purpose of controlling traffic between the Baltic Sea and Mälaren.

Government

Stockholm is the site of government and parliament of Sweden. It is also the home of the Swedish king. Despite being the Swedish head of state, the king has no real power.

Science and education

Stockholm is the largest university city in Sweden, and is famous because of the Nobel Prize which is given here each year. It houses the university, and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), which is an esteemed school for engineers.

Tourism

Stockholm has relatively recently begun a drive to profile itself as a tourist city. This has been fairly successful, although the number of hotel nights remain somewhat underdimensioned.

Culture

The cultural life in Stockholm is quite active, with dozens of museums and theaters. Sporting events are also popular with football and ice hockey being the most popular sports.

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