Gothenburg - The City
Sweden’s second largest city has a character all of its own which visitors from throughout the world quickly learn to cherish. Gothenburg’s soul is to be found in the flourishing music scene, in the archipelago with its wonderful swimming bays, in all the greenery of Slottsskogen park, and in its trams that are still running through the city centre. And ,of course, it lies in the city’s interest in sport with all that involves in terms of ”angels” and ”mackerels” (You don’t know what they are? Ask a Gothenburger!).
Swedish Hockey games are played at the Scandinavium Arena and three Swedish football league teams attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the "New" and, newly rebuilt, "Old" Ullevi Stadiums.
Shipping and commerce have created the international relations which have characterised Gothenburg since 1621, when the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf founded the town. The choice of location was strategic as the island of Hisingen was surrounded by Norwegian and Danish land. The canals in the city bear witness to the fact that the builders were Dutch, when, at the time, the official languages were Dutch, German, Swedish and English. When the Swedish East India Company started trading with China in 1731, ships returned loaded with porcelain, tea, spices and cloth.
British customs became fashionable and Gothenburg took on its pet name, “Little London,” which still makes itself felt in the friendly atmosphere, the humour and the architecture. The city’s wide boulevards and parks were constructed at the turn from the 19th- to 20th-century. In 1923, Liseberg, the city’s amusement park, was opened and Götaplatsen was completed at the very top of the Avenue, the city’s most fashionable street.
The old district of Haga is like a little oasis in the heart of the city, with its cobblestone cafés in the summer and markets in the autumn. The next centre for shops, restaurants and entertainment is about a hundred metres from there, at Järntorget.
Two universities have turned Gothenburg into a knowledge-based city, too, and the legacy of companies such as SKF, Volvo and the shipyards constitutes the basis of today’s industry.