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Stockholm

Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden. It is the site of the national Swedish government, the Riksdag (parliament), and the official residence of the Swedish monarch as well as the prime minister. Since 1980, the monarch has resided at Drottningholm Palace outside of Stockholm and uses the Royal Palace of Stockholm as his workplace and official residence. As of 2009, the Stockholm metropolitan area is home to approximately 22% of Sweden's population, and contributes 28% of Sweden's gross domestic product. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden with a population of 829,417 in the municipality (2009), 1.25 million in the urban area (2005), and 2 million in the metropolitan area (2009).
Founded circa 1250, Stockholm has long been one of Sweden's cultural, media, political, and economic centres. Its strategic location on 14 islands on the south-central east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, has been historically important. Stockholm has been nominated by GaWC as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha-.In The 2008 Global Cities Index, Stockholm ranked 24th in the world, 10th in Europe, and first in Scandinavia. Stockholm is known for its beauty, its buildings and architecture, its abundant open water and many parks. It is sometimes referred to as Venice of the North. Stockholm is the second most visited city in the Nordic countries, with around one million visitors in 2006.

History

The earliest mention of Stockholm in writing dates from 1252, when it was an important post in the iron trade from the mines in Bergslagen. The first part of the name (stock) means log, while the second (holm) means islet, and refers to the islet Stadsholmen in central Stockholm which for centuries consistituted the main part of Stockholm.

The city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl in order to protect Sweden from invasion from the sea by foreign navies, and to stop pillage of the cities such as Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren.

The strategic and economic importance of the city made Stockholm an important factor in relations between the Danish Kings of the Kalmar Union and the national independence movement in the 15th century. The Danish King Christian II was able to enter the city in 1520. On November 8, 1520, massive executions of opposition figures, called the Stockholm Bloodbath, took place. This massacre set off further uprisings, which eventually led to the break-up of the Kalmar Union.
With the accession of Gustav Vasa in 1523 and the founding of a royal power, the population of Stockholm began to grow, reaching ten thousand by 1600.

The 17th century saw Sweden rise into a major European power, which was reflected in the development of the city. From 1610 to 1680 the population multiplied sixfold. In 1634 Stockholm became the official capital of the Swedish empire. Trading rules were also created that gave Stockholm an essential monopoly over trade between foreign merchants and other Swedish and Scandinavian territories.

Between 1713–1714, Stockholm suffered from the Black Death. After the end of the Great Northern War and the destruction of several areas of the city in 1721, the city stagnated. Population growth halted, and economic growth slowed. However, Stockholm maintained its role as the political centre of Sweden and continued to develop culturally under Gustav III. The royal opera is a good architectural expression of this era.

By the second half of the 19th century, Stockholm had regained its leading economic role. New industries emerged, and Stockholm transformed into an important trade and service centre, as well as a key gateway point within Sweden. The population also grew radically during this time, mainly through immigration. At the end of the century, less than 40% of the residents were Stockholm-born. Settlement began to expand outside of the city limits. Stockholm also became a cultural and educational center. In the 19th century, a number of scientific institutes opened in Stockholm, for example the Karolinska Institute.
In the late 20th century, Stockholm became a modern, technologically-advanced and ethnically diverse city. Throughout the century, many industries shifted away from work-intensive activities into more high-technology and service-industry knowledge-based areas. (Source: Stockholmtrvel & wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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