Sweden Discovery Guide

Overview

Located along the eastern region of the Scandinavian Peninsula is the country of Sweden. It is the fifth largest country in all of Europe and shares its borders with the country of Norway and the Baltic Sea. Sweden is separated from the country of Finland by the Gulf of Bothnia. One quarter of the entire country of Sweden is situated in Lapland and in the Arctic Circle. A prosperous nation, the country of Sweden is a highly environmentally conscious country and home to one of the most efficient welfare system in the world. Half of the country of Sweden is covered by the inner Norrland, which is a region that is characterized by gentle hills, lush dense forests and numerous beautiful lakes.

The picturesque landscape found in the country of Sweden brought about by lakes, rivers and waterfalls provide Sweden peaceful sceneries which make enjoying the outdoors a treat for travelers visiting this beautiful country. The rivers that cut through the country provide hydroelectricity to power most of the country. Because of the changes in the global environment, the country had taken various steps in order to preserve their natural resources. One of which is to set up a number of protected conservation areas such as the Sarek National Park, recognized as the first ever national park established in Europe.

The climate around Sweden is extremely diverse. The winters in the northern region are bitterly cold, which last for six months. The southern region has a milder climate with the winter season only lasting for two months. It is for this reason that majority of the population living in Sweden settle in the southern region.

Today, more and more people are now visiting the country of Sweden since there are a number of airlines now offering more connections to and from Sweden. Air fares are also a lot cheaper as compared to traveling to other parts of Europe.

Stockholm is the capital and it is a harbor city. An important port, the city of Stockholm is built in an area stretches throughout fourteen islands and linked by 50 bridges. One of the prime tourist attractions is the city of Gamla Stan. Situated right in the heart of the city of Stockholm, this quaint little town was founded back in the year 1250 and is home to a total of 50 museums as well as numerous arts and crafts shops.

Another prime tourist attraction in Stockholm is the Royal Palace, which is the official residence of the Royal Family. This and the Drottningholm Palace situated just right outside the capital city are open to the public during most parts of the year.

Travelers visiting the country of Sweden are also able to enjoy a variety of water sports and activities as well. The Swedish coastline is dotted with small islands. Each of these islands provides a breathtaking landscape and a venue for tourists and locals to enjoy yachting, wind surfing and other water sports activities. For those who would want to relax and commune with nature, the islands are a natural haven seals, sea birds and other animal species.

The History
The history of many European cultures can be told through the excavations and discoveries about the earliest cultures that settled there. Some of the first real evidence of people living in Sweden was left by early hunter-gatherers and farmers in the forms of farming tools, fired pottery, and the remnants of settlements. They developed amazing megalithic graves, and were eventually followed by single-grave people who were also known for their stone axes.

Invaders and settlers arrived from all over the place due to the huge water access to the Swedish area, which led to a great deal of cultural mingling as evidenced by the archeological finds in the area. It was not until the Viking Age, however, that it is thought that the first Kings of Sweden emerged and the area rose from an illiterate state to the use of runes. Remains of flourishing market towns from this time period have likewise been excavated, showing that the Viking Age was also host to flourishing trade.

The beginnings of what we think of now as modern Sweden were thought to have come about around the time of the protestant uprising in Europe. In the early sixteenth century, Gustav Vasa was named King of Sweden after the nobility of the Kingdom rose up against King Christian II of Denmark who had taken Sweden by force of arms then ordered a massacre of Swedish nobles.

Learn all about the history of this amazing country as you explore some of the 300 museums throughout the kingdom. You will delight in the culture and art that is displayed in these many museums, and you will run out of time before you run out of new things to explore in these many museums.

The Land
The northernmost part of Sweden is composed of mostly forests and mountains, and is quite rugged and beautiful in nature. The next part of Sweden is known as Svealand, and the glacial ridges of the area hold most of the 90,000 lakes of Sweden. If it sounds like a perfect area for fishing, you’re probably right. Continue to head south and you will slowly emerge out of the woods and into the agricultural area of Sweden where the farmland can sometimes stretch unbroken for miles.

Hunting and fishing are both great pastimes in the countryside, and the many lakes make it easy to have an uninterrupted and utterly solitary experience if that is what you desire. Be careful, though, as they are not really fit for swimming due to the frigid waters – watch the kids to keep them from diving in to inviting-looking waters.

Sweden is not only a beautiful country, it is one that is full to the brim with wonderful history and fascinating culture for you to enjoy. There is no place like it in the world, as you will find out when you visit.
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