Norrköping, Östergötland County, Östergötland Province, Sweden

History | Tourist Industry | Government agencies | Logistics and Infrastructure | Culture

🇸🇪 Norrköping is a city in the province of Östergötland in eastern Sweden and the seat of Norrköping Municipality, Östergötland County, about 160 km south-west of the national capital Stockholm, 40 km east of county seat Linköping and 60 km west of the Södermanland capital of Nyköping. The city is Sweden's tenth largest city and eighth largest municipality.

The city is situated by the mouth of the river Motala ström, at Bråviken, an inlet of the Baltic Sea. Water power from the Motala ström and the good harbour were factors that facilitated the rapid growth of this once industrial city, known for its textile industry. It has several nicknames such as: "Sweden's Manchester", "Peking" and "Surbullestan" (Surbulle [sour bun] was a local nickname for the textile workers, and stan is short for Staden, which means The City or The Town in Swedish).


History The city has medieval foundations by settlers around the Motala stream estuary, who used the falls and rapids to power their mills. The stream was also full of fish such as salmon. Exact dates are uncertain, but there are mentions of a church in the 12th century. It was dedicated to Saint Olaf, Norway's patron.

The first trace of the city's name is from 1283, when Sophia of Denmark donated her rights of salmon fishing to the Skänninge monastery. The town is estimated to have received city status in the early 14th century, although no written documents exist prior to a document from 1384. This document, signed by Albrekt of Sweden is stored in the city archive today. Köping means there was a market there, while Nörr or Norr means "north". There is a smaller town nearby named Söderköping, or "South market".

The city was the location of several battles in the ensuing centuries. As a consequence, nothing of the medieval Norrköping remains today. During the Northern Seven Years' War (1563–1570), the entire southern part of Norrköping was burnt. It was rebuilt by John III of Sweden, who designed the current street pattern.

In 1618, a weapon industry was established by supervision of Gustavus Adolphus. The harbour also attracted ships due to its proximity to the industries of Finspång. In addition to the weapon industry, a large scale industry of textile was also initiated. An important benefactor was the industrial man Louis De Geer (1587–1652). At De Geer's death, Norrköping had 6,000 inhabitants and was Sweden's second largest city.

The city again burnt in 1655, and again in 1719 during the Russian Pillage of 1719-21 when the Russians burnt it to the ground. Stones from the Johannisborg castle were used to build new houses, and today only a few stones remain.

During the 18th century it was rebuilt and several industries soon got a stronghold: In the 1740s, Norrköping boasted three sugar refineries; in the 1750s the large scale influential snus industry was established. From this time stems the city churches of Saint Olof and Saint Hedvig, and several other old houses. In 1762, the first theater in Sweden outside of Stockholm was established in the city, the Egges Teater.

Norrköping's importance again flourished. In 1769 the Swedish Riksdag assembled there. In 1800 King Gustav IV of Sweden was crowned in the Church of Saint Olof.

In the later 18th and early 19th Centuries, Norrköping was one of the three Swedish cities where Jews were allowed to live (see History of the Jews in Sweden).

The city again suffered fires in 1822 and 1826. Thereafter wooden houses were banned. In 1841 a ship industry was initiated as a branch of Motala Verkstad in Motala. In 1850 the industry had over 600 employees making it Sweden's largest ship industry at the time. During the remaining 19th century, the industries kept expanding. The area by the Motala Stream was developed further with the construction of a cotton refinery, and a paper mill was constructed in 1854, specialising in newspaper, and is still today exporting to customers around the world.

The industry, including textile manufacturers, also expanded into the 20th century. In 1950 a total of 54 factories had 6,600 employees in town. By 1956, however, 18 of them had been closed due to competition from countries abroad with lower wages, such as Italy and Japan. In 1970 only 10 factories and 1,200 employees remained. In that year, the renowned Holmen paper mill, with its 350 years long history, announced closure, and another 900 people were let go. To counter the effects, several governmental authorities were relocated to Norrköping from Stockholm. See also Braviken Paper Mill.

As of 2002, Norrköping is now seeing a revival, as a centre of culture and education. The Norrköping symbol represents the "new" Norrköping.


Tourist Industry The Motala ström river flows through the city has a parade annexed. In connection to the latter is the industrial landscape where the old textile industries once were situated.

In the summer, there is a cactus plantation in Carl Johans Park. 25,000 cacti planted there every summer.

Kolmårdens Djurpark is a zoo located 30 km (19 mi) north of Norrköping. In connection to the large outdoor zoo, there is also Tropicariet, an aquarium, where for example snakes, crocodiles and sharks can be seen.

The archipelagos 50 km (31 mi) away from Norrköping are called St Anna and Gryt.

Other locations of note includes a campus of Linköping University, its own symphonic orchestra, an airport called Kungsängen with 170,000 traveling (2006), a high-tech industry park called Norrköping Science Park, and Petroglyphs from the Nordic Bronze Age.


Government agencies As part of the Swedish government decentralisation policies of the 1960s and 1970s, a number of government agencies saw their national headquarters relocated from Stockholm to other parts of the country. A government inquiry suggested in 1970 that six such agencies should be relocated to Norrköping, with a particular focus on maritime and aviation transport and related services.

After parliamentary debate, five agencies were established in Norrköping over a period of years in the early 1970s. While reorganized, restructured and renamed, in general, the same agencies are still headquartered in Norrköping, namely: • Air Navigation Services of Sweden • Swedish Maritime Administration • Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute • Swedish Migration Agency • Swedish Prison and Probation Service

The establishment of government agencies in Norrköping was partly understood as a response to the decline in the textile industry, which had struck Norrköping hard in the 1960s. The city needed new jobs. The relocation of government jobs, however, also meant a major shift in the structure of the city labour market. Unqualified or highly structured industrial work in the private sector was replaced by more than 1 400 qualified and independent work positions in the public sector.

At a later point, the Norrköping cluster of transport authorities was augmented by one more: • Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen)

In 1997, a state university also opened a subsidiary campus in Norrköping, again, relating to the industry changes and being an important part of the government response to unemployment and labour market policy. Although not a headquarter, it is the seventh government agency stationed in Norrköping, and with more than 5 000 students on campus it is a major hub of activities in the city. • Linköping University, Campus Norrköping


Logistics and Infrastructure With a deep sea harbour, a position on the Southern Main Line railway, Norrköping Airport and being the intersection of European route E4 and European route E22, Norrköping is particularly well situated for logistics related business. This is further underlined by the presence of three transport related government agencies, the national weather services and Linköping University transports and logistics research and education programmes in place.

Norrköping is highly involved in the East Link, Ostlänken, which will increase travel speed and freight capacity on the Southern Main Line. As preparation, the Kardonbanan freight feeder line from Norrköping Harbour to the Southern Main Line was inaugurated in February 2021. A new freight railway terminal and a relocation of Norrköping Central Station is currently being studied.

Norrköping is one of two Swedish cities (the other being Gothenburg) that retained its tram system after the 1967 conversion to right-hand drive, see Norrköping Tramway.


Culture A theatre in Norrköping, Egges Theatre, hosted the first Scandinavian performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in 1776, and the city has a long theatre and revue tradition. Current main theatres are East Gothland Theatre, Sweden's biggest regional theatre, opened in 1908, and Arbisteatern, dating from 1865.

A 2016 Swedish drama/documentary, The Sex Temple (Sextemplet, produced by Swedish Television), shows off both the charming old town and one of its glorious 19th-century theaters (the Arbisteatern) to great effect.

Image: Sakletare

Norrköping has a population of over 95,618 people. Norrköping also forms the centre of the wider Norrköping Municipality which has a population of over 130,050 people. It is also a part of the larger Östergötland County.

To set up a UBI Lab for Norrköping see: Twitter:

Norrköping is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Music see:

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Norrköping has links with:

🇩🇪 Esslingen am Neckar, Germany 🇫🇴 Klaksvík, Faroe Islands 🇮🇸 Kópavogur, Iceland 🇦🇹 Linz, Austria 🇩🇰 Odense, Denmark 🇱🇻 Riga, Latvia 🇫🇮 Tampere, Finland 🇳🇴 Trondheim, Norway
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Norrköping is: -163.812,-58.587

Locations Near: Norrköping 16.1876,58.5866

🇸🇪 Linköping 15.624,58.414 d: 38  

🇸🇪 Nyköping 17,58.75 d: 50.4  

🇸🇪 Eskilstuna 16.514,59.371 d: 89.2  

🇸🇪 Västerås 16.551,59.617 d: 116.4  

🇸🇪 Örebro 15.222,59.279 d: 94.9  

🇸🇪 Enköping 17.083,59.633 d: 127.1  

🇸🇪 Södertälje 17.632,59.195 d: 107.1  

🇸🇪 Hässelby-Vällingby 17.867,59.35 d: 128.3  

🇸🇪 Bromma 17.933,59.333 d: 130  

🇸🇪 Huddinge 17.981,59.237 d: 125.8  

Antipodal to: Norrköping -163.812,-58.587

🇹🇴 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 15751.2  

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 15304.3  

🇦🇸 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 15055.2  

🇼🇸 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 14994.9  

🇺🇸 Hilo -155.089,19.725 d: 11270.3  

🇺🇸 Maui -156.446,20.72 d: 11170.5  

🇺🇸 Maui County -156.617,20.868 d: 11155.3  

🇺🇸 Wailuku -156.505,20.894 d: 11151.7  

🇺🇸 Kahului -156.466,20.891 d: 11151.6  

🇺🇸 Honolulu -157.85,21.3 d: 11115.1  

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