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Gothenburg History, Sweden

The present-day Gothenburg site and its adjoining regions have been inhabited even in the pre-historic times. Remains of an early Stone Age settlement belonging to c.7000 BC have been found by archeologists in the Kungsladugård sub-division under the Majorna district of the modern Gothenburg city.

History Of Gothenburg – The Middle Ages And Foundation Of The City

In the Middle Ages, the region started gaining importance as a trading center and harbor; a township by the name of Lödöse was founded some 40 km away from the present-day city site. Due to security-problems posed by the mighty Danes and Norwegians, the town was shifted to a new location, Nya Lödöse, in 1473; however, the security-problem persisted even after the change of location and the town-folks had to take shelter in the old Älvsborg Fortress to avoid being harassed.

Towards the beginning of the 17th century, a new town named Gothenburg was set up by King Charles IX on the island Hisingen; however, the town was destroyed during the Kalmar War by the Danes.

In 1621, King Gustavus Adolphus II chose the present-day city site and laid the foundation of Gothenburg. As per the King’s instructions, Dutch immigrants were employed to build the city and erect a proper fortification around the city. Following the Dutch canal-city models (like Amsterdam), a number of canals were also introduced in the new city. (Later this proved advantageous, as these water-barricades at least limited the devastation caused by fires by not allowing them to spread).

History Of Gothenburg – Treaty of Roskilde And The After-Effects

The signing of the Treaty of Roskilde (in 1658) has been an important episode in the history of Gothenburg. As per this treaty, the Denmark-Norway alliance surrendered two position-wise important provinces – the Danish province of Halland to the south and the Norwegian province of Bohuslän to the north.

Annexation of these two provinces not only strengthened Gothenburg but it even enhanced its significance as a seaport and trade-center on the west coast. The positive consequences of these annexations became evident in the 18th century, when Gothenburg started flourishing because of its foreign trade. It is around the same time that Gothenburg emerged as the main exit for Swedish émigrés making their way to North America. The US city of Gothenburg, Nebraska, has been the outcome of the exodus via the original Gothenburg.

History Of Gothenburg – 19th Century And Beyond

The city underwent rapid industrialization in the 19th century resulting in the increase in population; in fact, a comparison of the figures shows that the city’s populace has grown 10-times – while in 1800 the total population was 13000, in 1900 it became 130000. Industrial growth continued even in the 20th century.

Today, with the rich history of Gothenburg and its culture, the city is a great tourist haven and this has given the city the right direction for stepping into the 21st century. No wonder that Gothenburg is considered as much a city of the future, as it is a city with past and present.

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