Göteborg

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Göteborg

(yötəbôr`yə) or

Gothenburg

(gŏth`ənbûrg', gŏt`ən–), city (1990 pop. 574,433), capital of Göteborg och Bohus co., SW Sweden, on the Kattegat at the mouth of the Göta älv. It is Sweden's most important seaport and its second largest city; it is also a major commercial and industrial center and a rail junction. It is serviced by the Torslanda Airport, which has international flights. Manufactures include cameras, paper products, fabricated metal products, motor vehicles, processed food, mineral oils, and refined petroleum. There are large shipyards and fisheries in the city. Göteborg has two universities; several academies, museums, and parks; an opera house; and one of the country's largest sports stadiums.

Göteborg was founded in 1604 by Charles IX, but was soon after destroyed by the Danes in the Kalmar War. It was rebuilt by Gustavus II in 1619 and quickly became a major commercial center with large colonies of Dutch and English merchants. The Swedish East India Company was founded at Göteborg in 1731. The city's port was expanded in the mid-18th cent.; in the early 20th cent. it became the terminus of an important transatlantic shipping service. In 1865 the Göteborg licensing system for the control of liquor sales (see liquor lawsliquor laws,
legislation designed to restrict, regulate, or totally abolish the manufacture, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages. The passage of liquor laws has been prompted chiefly by the desire to prevent immoderate use of intoxicants, but sometimes also by the need to raise
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) was originated there.

Göteborg

 

(Gothenburg), a city, the chief port in Sweden on the shore of the Kattegat Strait at the mouth of the Göta älv. Sweden’s second-largest city (after the capital). Population, 444,000 (1969 census; more than 550,000 inhabitants in Greater Göteborg).

According to some Swedish sources the city was founded in 1607; other sources set the date at 1621. Until the mid-17th century, Göteborg was Sweden’s only port and the country’s most important fortress on the west coast. Beginning in the late 19th century, the workers’ movement of western Sweden was centered in Göteborg. During World War I and II, Göteborg was an important link between Sweden and other countries.

Göteborg is a major transportation center. The volume of freight of its port is 15 million tons (1968). Five railroad lines converge in the city, and it is served by the Torslanda international airport. About 8 percent of Sweden’s total industrial production is done in Göteborg. It is a major center of shipbuilding (the Götaverken and Eriksbergs wharves are among the largest in Europe), automobile manufacturing (Volvo), ball-bearing production (SKF), and oil refining. The city also manufactures electrical goods, textiles and clothing, and paper products.

Göteborg has a university, as well as polytechnic and commercial institutes. Since the turn of the century extensive housing areas have been built in the city. Some of Göteborg’s more notable historic buildings include the law courts (built in 1670-72 as the town hall and later rebuilt), the office and warehouse buildings of the Swedish East India Company (mid-18th century) and the classic cathedral, built in 1802-15 by the architect K. V. Karlberg. The city also has some interesting modern structures, such as the concert hall and plaza ensemble (built in 1931-35 by the architect N. E. Eriksson) and the annex to the town hall building (built in 1937 by the architect G. Asplund). Göteborg has several museums, including the Museum of Arts and Crafts, the Göteborg Museum (of history, archaeology, and ethnology), and the Maritime Museum.

REFERENCES

Almquist, H. Göteborgs historia … , vols. 1-2. Göteborg, 1929-35.
Liljeroth, E., and R. Holmström. Göteborg. Malmö, 1953.
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