|• Total||42.45 km2 (16.39 sq mi)|
|Population (31 December 2010)|
|• Density||1,673/km2 (4,330/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Gävle [ˈjæːvlɛ] is a city in Sweden, the seat of Gävle Municipality and the capital of Gävleborg County. It had 71,033 inhabitants in December 2010. It is the oldest city in the historical Norrland (Sweden's Northern Lands), having received its charter in 1446 from Christopher of Bavaria.
It is believed that the name Gävle derives from the word gavel, meaning river banks in Old Swedish and referring to the Gavleån (Gävle River). The oldest settlement was called Gavle-ägarna, which means "Gavel-owners". This name was shortened to Gavle, then Gefle, and finally Gävle.
Gävle is first mentioned as a town in official history books in the year 1413 but only received its official town charters in the year 1446.
For a long time Gävle consisted solely of small, low, turf or shingle roofed wooden buildings. Boat-houses lined the banks of Gavleån, Lillån, and Islandsån. Until the 18th century the town was built, as was the practice then, around the three most important buildings: the church, the regional palace, and the town hall. Over the last 300 years Gävle has been ablaze on three different occasions. After the fire of 1776 the town was rebuilt with straight streets and rectangular city blocks. The number of stone and brick houses also started to increase. The biggest town fire occurred 1869, when out of a population of around 10,000 approximately 8,000 inhabitants lost their homes, and about 350 farms were destroyed. Almost the whole town north of Gavleån was burnt down. All the buildings south of Gavleån were saved. An area of the old town between the museum and the library has been preserved to this day as a historic reserve, Gamla Gefle.
After the catastrophe of the fire Gävle developed its characteristic grid plan with large esplanades and green areas. It is now a green town with wide avenues. Stopping the spread of future town fires was the main idea behind this development.
An extensive redevelopment of the central town area was started during the 1950s. Around 1970 Gävle became a large urban district when it was united with the nearby municipalities of Valbo, Hamrånge, Hedesunda, and Hille. New suburbs like Stigslund, Sätra, Andersberg, and Bomhus have grown up around the central city.
Gävle Goat 
The history of the Gävle goat began in 1966. Stig Gavlén came up with the idea of placing a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas goat of straw in Slottstorget (Castle Square) in central Gävle. On 1 December the 13-metre tall, 7-metre long, 3 tonne goat was erected on the square. At midnight on New Year's Eve, the goat went up in flames. The goat has since had a history of being burnt almost every year, 2005 being the 22nd time it was burnt. Burning the goat is an illegal act and not welcomed by most citizens of Gävle, but undoubtedly this is what has made the goat famous. In 2006 the goat was covered in a flame-resistant coating to prevent arson, enabling the goat to remain standing throughout that winter.
Gävle is situated by the Baltic Sea near the mouth of the river Dalälven. At 60 degrees north and 17 degrees east, Gävle has the same latitude as Helsinki and the same longitude as Vienna and Cape Town.
Trade from the port of Gävle increased markedly during the 15th century when copper and iron began to be exported from the port. In order to ensure that all trade was via Stockholm, sailing to foreign ports from Gävle and a few other ports was forbidden.
During the 16th century, Gävle was one of the most important port and merchant towns with many shipping companies and shipyards.
In 1787 Gävle was awarded "free and unrestricted sailing rights" to and from foreign ports. This led to an increase in trade, which in turn lead to an increase in buildings, industrial developments, trade and shipping.
Major companies 
- Korsnäs (company) (forest industry)
- Stora Cell Industri (forest industry)
- Kraft General Foods Scandinavia (Gevalia coffee and spices)
- Leaf AB (sweets and confectionery, carrying brands such as Läkerol and Ahlgrens)
- Gävle Galvan (galvanization)
- Gävle Stål (pre-fabricated steel construction)
- Gävle Varv (pressure tanks)
- Cale Industri (parking meters)
The University College of Gävle currently enrolls 12,500 students. It offers courses of study in six departments: Business Administration, Education and Psychology, Caring Sciences and Sociology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematics, Natural and Computer Sciences and Technology, and Built Environment.
Some courses are given in English, taught both to visiting students from foreign partner institutions and to Swedish students.
Gävle is mostly known for the coffee called Gevalia, produced by Kraft General Foods Scandinavia and exported under multiple brand names. Gevalia is particularly popular in the Americas. Gevalia produces dozens of unique flavored coffees for the United States that are not available to its customers in Europe, but visitors to the factory can sample many of the premium blends. (Gevalia is the Latin name for Gävle); its Gävle goat, the Läkerol throat lozenges and car-shaped sweets Ahlgrens Bilar; and its ice hockey team Brynäs IF.
Due to large forest and pulp industries, many people perceive Gävle as occasionally smelling bad. In fact, when the local Coffee plant considered installing catalysts for its steam stacks, the community grew concerned that they would lose the smell of roasting coffee. The Gevalia coffee company installed the catalysts in a way that did not impact the pleasant smell.
Notable people 
- Andreas Rudman (1668–1708) Pioneer Swedish American Lutheran minister
- Nils Norén (chef)
- Alexandra Dahlström (actress)
- Christian Edstrom (professional rally co-driver)
- Anders Eklund (boxer)
- Joe Hill (labour activist)
- Cat Stevens (musician) - his mother Ingrid Wickman was from Gävle, and he also lived here for some time during his childhood.
- Joakim Sundström, Swedish sound editor, sound designer and musician
- Ewa Mataya Laurance (professional pool player)
- Jacob Markström (player for the San Antonio Rampage American Hockey League team)
- Rolf Lassgård (actor)
- Åke Fridell (actor)
- Thomas Di Leva (musician)
- Nicklas Bäckström (player for the Washington Capitals NHL team)
- Yat Malmgren (dance teacher at the Drama Centre London)
- Anders Lindbäck (goalie for the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team)
- Jakob Silfverberg NHL player for the Ottawa Senators
- FreddeGredde (YouTube musician)
- BK Loke - a wrestling club
- Hille IF - a football club
- IK Huge - a football and ice-hockey club
- Sjötulls BK - a football club
- Strömsbro IF - a football, bandy and ice-hockey club
Gävle is known for being the cradle for many young musicians.
In 2009, DJ Adam Beyer was robbed while playing a set in Gävle. According to an announcement by Mr Beyer he was in Gävle with the intention of supporting the local scene but is now unsure if he will return to Gävle. Mr Beyer encouraged his fans to "Don´t let the dark side take over!".
The Road To Gävle In 2009 the Danish Tina Dico made an album named "The Road To Gävle", which is the soundtrack for a Danish movie, taking place in Gävle.
Young synth-pop band The Sound of Arrows is from Gävle as well. They became very popular in Europe with their single "Into the Clouds".
Gävle is home to one of Scandinavias best dubstep-clubs, Gefle Dub. With regular visits from international superstars such as Flux Pavilion, Datsik, Sukh Knight & P Money, Foreign Beggars etc.
The Gävle Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1912 gives a concert series in the konserthus.
Gävle Hospital has approximately 300 physicians, and serves an area of approximately 150.000 people.
European Cooperation 
See also 
- "Localities 2010, area, population and density in localities 2005 and 2010 and change in area and population". Statistics Sweden. 29 May 2012. Archived from the original on 17 December 2012.
- "Gävle stads privilegier - Gefle från A till Ö" (in (Swedish)). www.gd.se. 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- Odor problems in the paper industry, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume 58 Issue Basic Odor Research Correlation, Pages 34 - 36, 12-22-2006
- [dead link]
- Andreas Rudman and his Family (by Dr. Peter Stebbins Craig . Swedish Colonial News,Volume 2, Number 1. Winter 2000) 
- Gävle sjukhus at jobblanken.se, part of Internetmedicin. Updated 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Gävle|
- Gävle - Official site
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gefle". Encyclopædia Britannica 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 550.