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Stockholm

Stockholm  (IPA['stɔkhɔlm]) is Sweden's capital and its largest city. It is the site of the national Swedish government, the parliament, and the official residence of the Swedish monarch. As of 2003, the Stockholm metropolitan area is home to 21.3% of the Swedish population and contributes 29.1% of Sweden's gross domestic product.

Stockholm has been the political and economic centre of Sweden since the 13th century. Today Stockholm Municipality is the largest of the municipalities of Sweden, with a population of 802,611 and Stockholm urban area with a population of 1.3 million is Sweden's largest continuously built-up area. The metropolitan area of Stockholm has a population of 2 million.[3] Its strategic location on several islands on the east coast of Sweden at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, has been historically important. Since Stockholm is built on islands, tourist interests have tried to popularize the appellation "The Venice of the North".

The location appears in Norse sagas as Agnafit, and especially in connection with the legendary king Agne. The earliest mention of Stockholm in writing dates from 1252, when the mines in Bergslagen made it an important site in the iron trade. The first part of the name (stock) means log or it may be connected to an old German word (Stock), which means fortification, while the second part of the name (holm) means islet, and is thought to refer to the islet Helgeandsholmen in central Stockholm. The city is said to have been founded by Birger Jarl in order to protect Sweden from a sea invasion by foreign navies, and to stop the pillage of towns such as Sigtuna on Lake Mälaren.

Stockholm's core, the present Old Town (Gamla Stan) was built on the central island next to Helgeandsholmen between 1300 and 1500. The city originally rose to prominence as a result of the Baltic trade of the Hanseatic League. Stockholm developed strong economic and cultural linkages with Lübeck, Hamburg, Danzig, Visby, Reval (modern-day Tallinn) and Riga during this time. Between 1296 and 1478 Stockholm's City Council was made up of 24 members, half of whom were Hanseatic League representatives.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Stockholm".