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Norrkoping History, Sweden

Norrkoping City is found at the eastern province of Sweden known as Ostergotland. Similar with Malmo, the city is also the capital of Norrkoping Municipality and Ostergotland County. Some of Norrkoping’s nicknames are: Sweden’s Manchester; Peking; and Surbullestan (City for textileworkers). This city was once industrially known for its textile factories, which made it significant as a commercial area. Norrkoping History is filled with events pertaining to its early existence and current conditions.

Norrkoping History – Foundations of the City and Early History

In 1283, Norrkoping was first mentioned as a town when the spouse of King Valdemar I of Sweden, Sofia of Denmark, provided her privileges of salmon fishing to the Skanninge monastery. Subsequently, in the early 1300s, Norrkoping was given the city status, which was authenticated in 1384 through the signature of Albrekt of Sweden.

Norrkoping History – Backdrop for Wars

In the later centuries, the city of Norrkoping became the site of a number of battles. As a result of this, no medieval traces of the city has survived to this day. When the Northern Seven Years’ War broke between 1563 and 1570, the whole of the southern portion of Norrkoping was burnt. Reconstruction of the area was ordered by John III of Sweden.

Norrkoping History – 17th and 18th Century

Gustavos Adolphus supervised a weapons business established in Norrkoping in 1618. Add to this industry, the port of the city drew ships mainly because of its proximity to the commerce of Finspang. Also, a full scale textile business was established. By the mid-1600s, the population of Norrkoping rose to 6,000 and the city became the second biggest in Sweden.

The city had once again suffered from fire twice: one in 1655 and another during the Great Northern War in 1719 when the Russians burned Norrkoping to the ground.

After the war, Norrkoping went through a massive reconstruction and a number of industries were re-established. Three sugar factories were developed in the 1740s and in 1750s the snuff industry, which greatly influenced commerce in the city, was founded. It was also during this century that the Saint Olaf and Saint Hedvig churches were founded. At that time, Norrkoping became a very significant city.

Norrkoping History – 19th Century to Present

In the years 1822 and 1826, Norrkoping has yet again endured fires. After the incidents, wooden houses were already forbidden to be built. A ship corporation was established as a branch of Motola Verkstad in 1841. Shortly after, the corporation had more than 600 workers making it the country’s biggest ship business at the time. Norrkoping City continued to develop through the remainder of the 1800s. A cotton factory and a paper mill concentrating in newspaper were established.

Expansions persisted to the 1900s. A total of 54 factories with 6,600 employees are found in the city during the 1950s. However, in 1956, 18 of the factories in Norrkoping had to close down because of fierce competition with other countries that gave lower wages. By 1970, a total of only 10 factories and 1,200 employees were left in the city.

Starting from the year 2002, Norrkoping city is slowly reviving, not as an industrial center but as a center of education and culture. This marked a different turn in Norrkoping History. But just like the facts in Oslo History and Copenhagen History, the success of this city was dependent upon what transpired in its history.
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