Advent Calendar 2020: 5. Gothenburg, Sweden

Another Swedish city for the weekend—we come to Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden.

Compared to Stockholm, Gothenburg is much newer—it is not a medieval city. Its current site was founded in the 17th century by King Gustavus Adolphus, i.e. the king who led Sweden into the Thirty Years War. The greatest threat to Swedish safety was Denmark, and Sweden took advantage of its then-tiny bit of west coast to build a fortified town and port. The Danes tried very hard to wipe the town out of existence.

Sweden prevailed, and by the end of the 17th century Sweden had taken the entire west coast from Denmark. Gothenburg was now safe and grew into a major port, becoming the main North Sea port of Sweden and the main seaport towards Britain and the United States.

Home to many heavy industrial and technology companies, Gothenburg is today the second largest city in Sweden, a major student town and sustainability innovation hub.