Gothenburg Tourist Attractions
Situation and characteristicsGöteborg (in English traditionally Gothenburg), situated in southwestern Sweden on the shores of the Kattegat, on both banks of the Götaälv, is Sweden's second largest city and the leading port and commercial center.
The chief town of the county of Göteborg and Bohus, it has a university and a college of technology and is the see of a Lutheran bishop. Cultural life in Göteborg is found through the art museum, annual film festival, amusement park Liseberg and free theatres. Its economy is largely dependent on a number of major industries including motor vehicles (Volvo), the manufacture of ball bearings and the chemical industry. There are ferry services to Kiel in Germany and Frederikshavn in Denmark.HistoryGöteborg is a relatively young town, having received its municipal charter from Gustavus Adolphus only in 1621. There had been four earlier settlements in the area, but all had been destroyed either by war or by fire. The early development of the town was much influenced by the Dutch settlers who had been brought in: the first town council consisted of 10 Dutchmen, seven Swedes and one Scot.The town quickly grew into Sweden's largest port, engaged particularly in the shipment of timber and iron. During Napoleon's continental blockade (1806) it was the focal point for British trade with northern Europe. This period saw the rise of the commercial aristocracy (East India Company founded 1731) from whose munificence the city frequently benefited.Göteborg's heyday as an international port began in the early 20th century with the development of transatlantic traffic, and it is now the base of about a quarter of the Swedish merchant fleet. With over 20km/12.5miles of quays, the port - which is rarely ice-bound - is the largest in northern Europe, and can accommodate tankers of up to 225,000 tons. The people of Göteborg are open-minded and liberally disposed, and have always looked towards the West: in their eyes Stockholm is in Siberia. A favorite Swedish joke declares that when it rains in London the people of Göteborg put up their umbrellas.Some of the main sites of interest in Göteborg are the Kungsportsavenyn, main boulevard; Gothenburg Museum of Art, Göteborg Botanical Garden, Natural History Museum and the most popular destination - Southern Gothenburg Archipelago, only accessible by boat.
On the Dutch pattern, the main traffic arteries of Göteborg were originally canals, most of which have now been filled in and converted into streets, such as Östra and Västra Hamngatan. Only the central canal, the Stora Hamnkanal, and the old defensive moat which bounds the Old Town on the south have been preserved.
Gustav Adolfs Torg
On the north side of the Stora Hamnkanal is Gustav Adolfs Torg, a large square which was called simply Stora Torget until 1854, when the statue of Gustavus Adolphus (by B. E. Fogelberg) was erected. It is the second version of the statue: the first, cast in Munich, was acquired by Bremen after the ship carrying it ran aground and the citizens of Göteborg refused to pay the salvage money demanded by the men of Heligoland.
On the north side of Gustav Adolfs square is the Exchange (Börsen; 1849), which also houses the city's Council Chamber and a museum devoted to the Czech composer Smetana, who lived in Göteborg from 1856 to 1861.
On the west side of Gustav Adolfs square is the Göteborg Town Hall (Rådhus; 1672), designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, with a beautiful inner courtyard. The north wing was built by Erik Gunnar Asplund in 1935-37. The relief of the "Winds" was the work of Erik Grates.
Behind Göteborg's Town Hall, in Norra Hamngatan, stands the Kristine Kyrka or German Church (rebuilt in 1748-53 after a fire), with the burial vault of Field Marshal Rutger von Ascheberg (1693), governor of Skåne, Halland, Göteborg and Bohuslän.
East India House (Museums)
Along Norra Hamngatan (No. 12) is Göteborg's East India House, once the offices of the East India Company (1750), now housing a number of museums: the Historical Museum, with material of historical and ethnographic interest, particularly from western Sweden and the Göteborg area; the Archaeological Museum (prehistoric material); and the Ethnographic Museum, which has a special section on Lapland.
Address: Norra Hamngatan 12, S-41114 Göteborg, Sweden
Göteborg Municipal Museum
To the north of East India House, in Kronhusgatan, is the Kronhus (1643-53), Göteborg's oldest building, used in the past as a warehouse, an arsenal and a garrison church. In the great hall (Rikssalen) the five-year-old Charles XI was proclaimed king in 1660. Part of the building is now occupied by the Municipal Museum. Adjoining are the Kronhusbodar (1756-59), converted into shops and workshops at the turn of the century.
Address: Norra Hamngatan 12, S-41114 Göteborg, Sweden
Across the Stora Hamnkanal from Göteborg's Historical Museum, to the right, is the Lilla Torg, with a statue (by Börjesson, 1904) of the textile manufacturer Jonas Alströmer (1685-1761). Farther to the right, at the end of Södra Hamngata, stands the 17th century Governor's Residence (altered and enlarged about 1850). In Skeppsbroplatsen is the town's oldest stone pier (1845), with the Carl Milles Monument.
Along Västra Hamngatan, at the intersection with Kungsgatan (on left), is Göteborg's Cathedral (Domkyrka), built in 1815 on the site of two earlier churches which had been destroyed by fire. It is a three-aisle church with a tower at the west end.
Between Gustav Adolfs Torg and Drottningtorg (to the east along Norra Hamngata) is Göteborg's Östra Nordstan district, in which the old houses have given place to modern functional buildings. From the shopping center there is an underground passage to the Central Station in Drottningtorg.
Nils Ericssonsgata runs north in Göteborg to the Götaälv. Moored at the Gullbergskaj are the four-masted barque "Viking" (1907; now a school of seamanship), the lightship "Fladen" (1915) and the "Valborg II " (1902), which used to sail on Lake Vänern. To the right is the Götaälv Bridge (view of harbor and old shipyards), leading to the Hisingen peninsula. The peninsula can also be reached through the Tingstad Tunnel (which carries the E 6, Göteborg-Oslo), 1km/0.75mile upstream.
Address: Packuhuskajen 8 1/2, S-41113 Göteborg, Sweden
Eastern and Southeastern Districts
From the northeast side of Gustav Adolfs Torg in Göteborg, Östra Hamngatan runs south to Kungsportsplats, with an equestrian statue of Charles IX (by Börjesson, 1903). Between here and Västra Hamngatan are a number of business and shopping streets. To the south of the square, beyond the old moat, is the Grand Theater (Stora Teatern, 1859), on the east side of the Kungspark. Opposite the theater, on the far side of Kungsportsavenyn (called simply Avenyn, "the Avenue", for short), Göteborg's grandest street, can be seen the first version of a well-known piece of sculpture by Molin, "The Wrestlers" ("Bältespännare"). Beyond this is the beautiful park of the Horticultural Society (Trädgårdsföreningen), with a large palm-house and a restaurant (main entrance from Nya Allén). In the Avenue, between Nya Allén and Parkgatan, is a statue (by I. Fallstedt, 1899) of the engineer John Ericsson (1803-89), who after emigrating to the United States perfected the screw propeller and built the warship "Monitor".
Museum of Art
A broad flight of steps leads up to the Museum of Art (Konstmuseet; 1921-23), with a comprehensive collection of Scandinavian art as well as works by Italian, French, Dutch and Flemish masters (including Rembrandt's "Falconer", ca. 1665, and "Adoration of the Kings", ca. 1631, Rubens and Van Gogh) and modern French artists (Cézanne, etc.). Adjoining the museum is the Konsthalle (periodic exhibitions).
Address: Götaplatsen / Avenyn, S-41256 Göteborg, Sweden
On the east side of Götaplats is the Municipal Theater (Stadsteatern; 1934), on the west side the Concert Hall (Konserthuset; 1935). Northwest of the Theater is the Municipal Library (Stadsbibliotek), with a Doll Museum.The concert hall is noted for the architecture and excellent acoustics. It seats 1,247 people and is home to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
Address: Götaplats, S-41256 Göteborg, Sweden
Liseberg Amusement Park and Scandinavium Trade Fair
Southeast of Götaplats (main entrance in Örgrytevägen) is Göteborg's lively Liseberg amusement park (Nöjespark), one of the largest and finest of its kind in Europe. On the other side of Örgrytevägen are the Trade Fair grounds (Svenska Mässan). Adjoining is the Scandinavium (1971), with an arena seating up to 12,000 spectators, and beyond this is the Valhalla Baths. Still farther north, in Skånegatan, is the large Ullevi Stadium.
Address: Box 5053, S-40222 Göteborg, Sweden
To the east of the Scandinavium we come to the Industrial Museum (models illustrating Göteborg's industrial history; motor cars). Nearby is Orgryte Old Church (Gamla Kyrka; 13th C., with later enlargement).
Rohss Museum of Applied Art & Design
In Vasagatan (Nos. 37-39), which cuts across the Avenue, is Göteborg's Museum of Applied Art (Röhsska Konstslöjdmuseet; by Carl Westman, 1916), with modern gold and silver work, textiles, furniture, glass and porcelain. At the entrance are two Chinese marble lions of the Ming dynasty (1386-1644).
Address: Vasagatan 37-39, S-40015 Göteborg, Sweden
Along Vasagatan, in the Vasapark, is Göteborg's University. South of this is the Vasa Church (Vasakyrkan, 1909); at the west end of Vasagatan, at the intersection with Haga Kyrkogatan, is the Commercial College; and to the north of this is the Haga Church (Hagakyrkan, 1859).
Address: Box 100, S-40530 Gothenburg, Sweden
On a hill southwest of Göteborg's Haga Church can be seen a remnant of the old fortifications, Skansen Kronan (Kronen Redoubt), from the top of which there are fine views. The stout tower (1697) now houses a Military Museum, with a collection of weapons and Swedish uniforms from the 17th century to the present day. Around the hill is a working-class housing estate built about 1850.
Address: Packuhuskajen 8 1/2, S-41113 Göteborg, Sweden
To the north of Göteborg's Military Museum, at the west end of Södra Allégatan, is Järntorget (Iron Square), with a fountain by Tore Strindberg (1927); on the outside of the basin are various old iron stamps.From here Första Långgatan runs west to St John's Church (1866). On a plateau to the south of the church stands the Masthugg Church (Masthuggskyrkan, 1914), from which there is a fine view of the city and the harbor.
Stigbergsgatan and Stigbergsplatsen, with the well preserved Gathenhielmska Hus (1710), leads to Göteborg's Shipping Museum (Sjöfartsmuseet), which illustrates the development of shipping, fishing and shipbuilding from the Viking period to the present day; there is also an aquarium.Adjoining the museum is the Seaman's Tower, 49m/160ft high, topped by Ivar Johnsson's sculpture "Woman by the Sea"; the tower was built to commemorate the seamen who lost their lives in the First World War (good views).
Address: Karl Johansgatan 1-3, S-41459 Göteborg, Sweden
Near the Göteborg Shipping Museum is the fishing harbor (interesting auctions on weekdays from 7am). It is also well worth visiting the Fish Auction Hall (Feskekörka) on the Rosenlundskanal.Farther west is the 933m/1,010yd long Älvborg Bridge (1966), which leads to the Hisingen peninsula.
South of the Shipping Museum, in Dag Hammarskjöldsleden, lies Göteborg's largest park, Slottskogen (Castle Wood). It is a beautifully wooded area (oaks and conifers), with ponds (seals), animal enclosures, beautiful footpaths and roads, and two restaurants; lookout tower (wide views). At the northeastern corner of the park is the Natural History Museum (the whales being of particular interest). To the southeast, beyond Dag Hammarskjöldsleden, is the Botanic Garden (Botaniska Trädgården), an open natural park; on its northeast side is the Salgren Hospital, one of the largest in Sweden.
Between Slottskogen and the Götaälv lies the Majorna district, originally a working-class housing scheme built about 1875, with the "governor's houses" (landshövdingehus) characteristic of Göteborg (so called because they were built in accordance with a decree issued by the governor, the landshövding). Since timber-built houses were not allowed to have more than two stories the ground floor was built of stone.
Landvetter, Göteborg's airport, is 18km/11mi east of the city center on the road to Borås (No. 40).
The Gothenburg Opera House opened in 1994. Each season offers opera, ballet and musicals.
Address: Christina Nilssons Gatan, S-41104 Göteborg, Sweden
The purpose of the Vitlycke Museum is to reflect upon rock carvings from long ago and it does so in a contemporary way. A Bronze Age farm is set up on-site to offer a glimpse into the living quarters of the rockcarvers.
Museum of Natural History in Gothenburg
In the Museum of Natural History, you will find animals from all parts of the world, presentations of the Earth, life in the Sea, as well as information on environmental problems of different kinds.
Address: Box 7283, S-40235 Göteborg, Sweden
A variety of events and festivals is available to visitors to Gothenburg throughout the year.
Göteborg hosts two music festivals in June. The first is also known as the Happy Göteborg Festival and takes place in early June and focuses mainly on local talent. The second festival takes place later in the month and is international in scope. It often includes hundreds of musicians from at least a dozen different countries. The repertoire for both festivals is varied.
The Göteborg Gothia Cup is an international youth soccer tournament held annually in July.
Address: Box 22052, S-40072 Göteborg, Sweden
Göteborg PostGirot Open cycle race is in June.
The Göteborg Horse Show is in May.
International Book Fair
Göteborg International Book Fair is about the third week of September.
7km/4.5mi south of Göteborg on E 20 is the industrial town of Mölndal (pop. 51,000), now joined up with Göteborg. It was originally known as the "Valley of Mills". 2km/1.25mi east is Gunnebo Castle (1796), in an English-style park. To the west is Åby racecourse.
From Lilla Bommen it is a half-hour trip by motorboat to the fortress of Elfsborg (1670; renovated 1971), on an island off the mouth of the river.There are also attractive trips to the skerries. Particularly popular with bathers is the island of Styrsö.
9km/6mi southwest of Nya Elfsborg, on the estuary of the Götaälv, is the former fishing village of Långedrag, now a popular seaside resort (summer restaurant) and an attractive residential suburb.
Älvängen - Museum of Rope Making
Watch the old belt-driver machines work, feel the fibers and yarn, the rope, hawsers, and other cordage. Smell the tar and natural fibers - these are what make this a unique living museum. Ropes are always being made when the museum is open.
Address: Tågvirkesgränd, S-44637 Älvängen, Sweden
7km/4.5mi south of Mölndal is Kållered, which has a church dating in part from the 13th century with a beautiful painted timber ceiling.
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