Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gävle ['jɛvlə] is a Municipality in Gävleborg County, in east central Sweden. The municipality covers an area of 1604.0 km². Of the total population of 90,742, 44,650 are male, and 46,092 are female. The population density of the community is 57 inhabitants per km². Formal "town status" was granted to Gävle by Christopher of Bavaria in 1446. Geographically the municipality is situated north of the mouth of the river Dalälven. It is the southernmost municipality of the historical land of Norrland.
It is believed that the name Gävle stems from the word gavel, referring to the high banks of the river Gavleån which runs through Gävle that were called gavel in Swedish. The oldest settlement was called Gavle-ägarna in Swedish, which means Gavel-owners. This name was eventually shortened to Gavle, then Gefle, and finally Gävle.
For a long time Gävle consisted solely of small, low, turf or shingle roofed, wooden buildings. Boat-houses lined the banks of Gavleån , Lillån , and Islandsån . Untill the 1700s the town was built, as was the practice then, around the three most important buildings; the church, the regional palace, and the town hall.
Over the last 300 years Gävle has been ablaze on three different occasions. After the fire of 1776 the town was transformed to straight streets and rectangular city blocks. The number of stone and brick houses started also started to increase.
The biggest town fire occurred 1869 when out of a population of around 10,000 approximately 8,000 inhabitants lost their homes, and about 350 farms were destroyed. Almost the whole town north of Gavleån was burnt down. All the buildings south of Gavleån were saved. An area of the old town between the museum and the library has been preserved to this day as a reserve - Gamla Gefle .
After the catastrophy of the fire Gävle developed it's characteristic grid plan with large esplanades and green areas. It is now a green town with wide avenues. Stopping the spread of future town fires was the main idea behind this development.
An extensive redevelopment of the central town area was started during the 1950s. Around 1970 Gävle became a large urban district when it was united with the nearby municipalities of Valbo, Hamrånge , Hedesunda, and Hille . New suburbs like Stigslund , Sätra , Andersberg , and Bomhus have grown up around the central town.
Gävle is situated on the Baltic coast near the mouth of the river Dalälven. At 60 degrees north and 17 degrees east, Gävle has the same latitude as Helsinki and the same longitude as Vienna and Capetown.
Trade from the port of Gävle increased markedly during the 1400s when copper and iron began to be exported from the port. In order to ensure that all trade didn't occur outside of Stockholm sailing to foreign ports from Gävle and a few other ports was forbidden.
During the 1500s, Gävle was one of the most important port and merchant towns with many shipping companies and shipyards.
In 1787 Gävle was awarded "free and unrestricted sailing rights" to and from foreign ports. This lead to an increase in trade, which in turn lead to an increase in buildings, industrial developments, trade and shipping.
- Korsnäs (forest industry )
- Stora Cell Industri (forest industry )
- Kraft General Foods Scandinavia (coffee and spices)
- Leaf AB (sweets and confectionary)
- Gävle Galvan (galvanization)
- Gävle Stål (pre-fabricated steel constructions)
- Gävle Varv (pressure tanks)
- Cale Industri (parking meters)
- Ericsson (radio base stations for mobile telephone networks)
The University of Gävle currently enrolls 12,500 students.
It offers courses of study at six departments: Business Administration, Education and Psychology, Caring Sciences and Sociology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematics, Natural and Computer Sciences and Technology, and Built Environment.
- Joe Hill (labour activist)
- Thomas diLeva (music artist)
- Regina Lund (actor)
- Rolf Lassgård (actor)
The history of the Gävle goat began in 1966. A man named Stig Gavlén came up with the idea of making a giant version of the traditional Swedish christmas goat of straw and placing it on (Slottstorget) Castle Square in central Gävle. On 1 December the 13-metre tall, 7-metre long, 3 tonne goat stood on the square. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, the goat went up in smoke. The goat has since had a history of being burnt almost every year. Burning the goat is an illegal act and not welcome by the citizens of Gävle, but undoubtedly this is what has made the goat famous.
- Municipalities of Sweden
- List of Swedish municipalities
- List of Swedish municipalities by county
- List of Swedish municipalities by population
- Cities of Sweden
- University College of Gävle
- International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships (1995)
- Gävleborg County Administrative Board
- List of Gävleborg Governors
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