Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Sweden

Theme ~ Swedish Rhapsody

 City Hall, Stockholm

Kalmar Castle in the province of Smaland 

 A street in Granna, Smaland

 View from Brahe Hus Castle ~ Farms and Lake Vattern

 Views from the island of Oland. The bridge goes to the island from the city of Kalmar

Lacko, a renaissance castle, in the province of Vastergotland

 Glimminge Hus in the southernmost province of Skane

Stortorget ~ The Great Square in Malmo in the province of Skane. Malmo is the third largest city in Sweden and from there a bridge connects Sweden to Denmark across the waters of Oresund. Much like all towns in England have a High Street, it seems like there's a Great Square in all Swedish towns.

 A harbor in Gothenberg, the second largest city in Sweden.

Views of Gothenberg. The statue, Poseidon, is by the Swedish sculptor Carl Milles.

Bohuslan province on the rocky West Coast of Sweden.

Winter in the province of Varmland. My maternal grandmother came from here as did Selma Lagerlof, the author of The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (Holgerson)
 Rottneros Manor, featured in books by Selma Lagerlof, this estate is situated in Varmland.

For Midsummer's Eve celebrations, local people dress up in folk costumes and are taken by rowboat across Lake Siljan in Dalarna. Dalarna is the home of the wooden Dala Horse and the Falu Red paint that colors so many farms, barns and homes in Sweden. The province was also the home of Carl Larsson, the most Swedish of painters and artists. If you ever visit Sweden, don't miss his home; it is now a museum.

 A winter view in the province of Jamtland in the north of Sweden

A frozen waterfall near Are in Jamtland

A scene from the province of Lappland in northern Sweden

 Kiruna ~ A view of a part of this, the northern most, large city in Sweden

 A reindeer in the province of Lappland

 Reindeer graze on Kebnekaise, the tallest mountain in Sweden. Both domesticated and wild reindeer can be found in the north of Sweden.

Sweden is about the size of California, USA.
65% of Sweden's land area is covered by forest.
There are 97,500 lakes over 2 acres in size.
15% of Sweden lies above the Arctic Circle.
Climate is temperate due to the Gulf Stream.
Population: About 9.4 million (California has 37 million)
Swedish born ~ 85% 
Finnish ~              5%
Roma ~                 0.5%
Sami ~                  0.24%
Those were the major ethnic groups in Sweden when I left in 1962. Immigration began in the 1970s and continues today.
Now immigrants come from countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America and make up the remaining 10% or so of the population.
Population density in Sweden is low, 54 people per square mile. Foreign-born residents totaled 1.33 million in 2010.
99% literacy rate (All persons born in Sweden, age 15 and over, are literate)
Swedish is the dominating language and is used for official purposes.
Sami, Standard-Finnish and Meankieli may be used as the official language in courts, government agencies, etc., in municipalities where there is a large population of these minorities.
There are five recognized minority languages: The three mentioned above, plus Romani chib, and Yiddish.
Sweden is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy of government and a highly developed economy.
King Carl XVI is the head of state, but royal power is limited to official and ceremonial functions.
Sweden has one of the most highly developed welfare states in the world and has a higher level of social spending to GDP than any other nation.
Sweden provides equal, as well as comprehensive, access to education and health care.
However, industry is overwhelmingly under private control.
Among the largest companies you may know: Volvo, Ericsson, Sony Ericsson Mobile, Electrolux, H&M, and IKEA. 
The majority of Swedes belong to the Church of Sweden a Lutheran church that was the state church until 2000. However, many of those seem to be included by default since in one study, only one-fifth of Swedes said they believed in God.
So with that piece of news, I end this trip to my native Sweden, hoping that I have inspired some of you to want to visit some day. If you do, I recommend going in June. If you like to take a cruise, I recommend one through the archipelago of Stockholm. 

Source for demographic information:


  1. Inger, I am enjoying this series, and especially this post. Feb 28,1988 we arrived in Gothenberg to collect our new car from the Volvo plant. We spent that night somewhere in Sweden on our way back to England. We were on a tight schedule and couldn't stay any longer. I would have loved more time so we could tour Sweden, but we couldn't. That is why I am enjoying this post so much. It was a working sabbatical for my husband. We were over there for 14 weeks in eight or nine different countries. Exhausting for me, but I was very fortunate to have that experience.

  2. As always, fascinating--with beautiful pictures! One question, though--if Sweden's temperature is moderate, why the frozen waterfall?

  3. beautiful architecture. beautiful waterfront scenes. :) i know you miss it all.

  4. Your posts have made me want to visit Sweden. :)

    The Golden Eagle
    The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

  5. Inger,
    These photos of your native country are absolutely beautiful. I love the castle and the little street looks so quaint. It all just is astounding. I didn't know that a portion of the country was in the Arctic Circle; brrr...It made me smile that Lutheran was the predominant religion. I grew up Lutheran and love the church.I also like the 99% literacy rate :)
    You have so inspired me..perhaps some day I will visit!

  6. Beautiful photos and interesting facts about Sweden.

  7. I have just loved all your posts about Sweden. I will definitely be going there and the month of June will be when I plan for it!

  8. Sweden looks so clean and fresh and a cruise through the archipelago of Stockholm sounds amazing.

  9. I would LOVE to visit Sweden and these pictures are fabulous!! Thanks for sharing this, Inger. It has been very much enjoyed...

  10. And you left this 'perfect' nation because?.....Sweden had always intrigued me because of it's social democratic policies which appear to be working well. Proof that it can be done! I do hope that Canada will eventually head in a similar direction using Sweden as its model.
    Great series Inger and you are up to 'S' already! I have some back reading to do.

  11. And you left this 'perfect' nation because?.....Sweden had always intrigued me because of it's social democratic policies which appear to be working well. Proof that it can be done! I do hope that Canada will eventually head in a similar direction using Sweden as its model.
    Great series Inger and you are up to 'S' already! I have some back reading to do.

  12. An amazing post, Inger. I LOVE these photographs. I wish I could put them on my walls so I could see them every day. It's all SO beautiful!

    I have a good friend who talks about healthcare in Sweden compared to healthcare here in the U.S. I know many people would like to go there for that!

    You commented on my Singin' in the Rain classic movie post. If you get a chance to see it, I think you'd love it. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're having a great weekend!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  13. I love that picture of Kalmar Castle! Beautiful!

  14. That would be a fabulous country to visit! Love the Kalmar Castle. I will look up Sami - don't know what that is.

  15. Your photos are as if I'm in a movie theater, Inger!...:)JP

  16. Really beautiful photos. I can see why you love Sweden so much. It's shines through the pictures.

  17. very interesting post and great pics too!

  18. I've been a fan of Carl Larssons's work for many years and would love to visit Sweden. Thank you for sharing all these loves pictures!

  19. What an excellent post! I've always wanted to visit Sweden--it just looks so beautiful in every aspect that you can think of: food, people, landscape, culture.

    I wanted to thank you for the kind words you left on Karen's blog. Thank you so much!

  20. A beautiful travelog of Sweden. All the photos are varied....... of important buildings and landscape scenery. Looking at the photos must bring back many memories to you. Thank you for sharing the country of your youth.

  21. Thanks again for broadening my knowledge about a country I formerly new little about.
    Such a beautiful place with neat, clean cities and wonderful views.
    Loved the tall ship and the winter scenes.

  22. Inger, if I were you, I would miss the richness of your motherland. Which I'm sure you do. I'm happy just to be able to see some of Sweden's jewels through your blog.

    PS -- the church on my blog today may very likely be of Danish or Swedish origin as that is who originally located to my area in Nebraska in the 1800's.

  23. Thank you for finding my blog and leaving a message. I love your blog. I also have Swedish heritage. I feel like we're related, in a sense. If you have time, read my K post. It's actually a post by my sister and a poem she wrote about our Swedish Grandfather.

    Play off the Page

  24. Gorgeous pictures! I would love to visit Sweden someday. I'm glad you found my blog so I could find yours. Thanks for following, I'm returning the favor. Can't wait to read more!

  25. The photos are amazing. I am most especially taken by the one of Kalmar Castle. I love castles and fortresses.

  26. Thank you for the wonderful travelogue!

  27. Lovely photos. Sweden is not a place I know much about so I'll have to keep reading. Visiting from A to Z challenge.

  28. I love the photos. Especially the reindeer!

  29. Härlig mix av Sverige du fick till...himla bra. Vilket jobb du gjort!!

  30. Hi Inger .. loved these posts and your memories of Sweden .. I'd definitely like to visit .. beautiful part of the world .. and I'll bear in mind June - I do not like the cold!!

    Cheers Hilary

  31. I wrote a long email and forgot to press publish! Oh well. I lived in Sweden in 91-92 and travel back and forth many times. I love the people and the country. Your photos are beautiful! I've been to many cities and towns in Sweden.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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