Helsingborg (Swedish pronunciation: [hɛlsiŋˈbɔrj]) is a town and the seat of Helsingborg Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden. It had 97,122 inhabitants in 2010. Helsingborg is the centre of an area in the Øresund region of about 320,000 inhabitants in north-west Scania, and is Sweden's closest point to Denmark, with the Danish city Helsingør clearly visible on the other side of the Øresund about 4 km to the west.
Between 1912 and 1971 the name of the town was officially spelled Hälsingborg (rather like Hälsingland but unlike Helsingør and Helsingfors/Helsinki).
Historic Helsingborg, with its many old buildings, is a scenic coastal city. The buildings are a blend of old-style stone-built churches and a 600 year old medieval fortress (Kärnan) in the city centre, and more modern commercial buildings. The streets vary from wide avenues to small alley-ways. Kullagatan, the main pedestrian shopping street in the city, was the first pedestrian shopping street in Sweden.
Helsingborg is one of the oldest cities of what is now Sweden. It has been the site of permanent settlement officially since 21 May 1085. Helsingborg's geographical position at the narrowest part of Øresund made it very important for Denmark, at that time controlling both sides of that strait. From 1429 the Danes introduced the Sound Duty (Sound Dues), a levy on all trading vessels passing through the sound between Elsinore and Helsingborg. This was one of the main incomes for the Danish Crown.
Following the Dano-Swedish War (1657-1658) and the Treaty of Roskilde Denmark had to give up all territory on the southern Scandinavian peninsula, and Helsingborg became a Swedish city. King Charles X Gustav of Sweden landed here on the 5th of March 1658 to take possession of the Scanian lands and was met by a delegation led by the bishop of the Diocese of Lund, Peder Winstrup. At that time the town had a population of barely 1,000 people.
The new situation, being a border town, caused problems for the city. The days of conflict were not over. The Danes made many attempts to regain the lost provinces. The last time was in 1710, when 14,000 invaders landed on the shores near Helsingborg. The Battle of Helsingborg was fought on the 28th of February just outside the city, which was badly affected. It took a long time to recover, and in 1770 the city had 1321 inhabitants and was just slowly growing.
On the 20th of October 1811 Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, Marshal of France and crown prince-elect of Sweden (later king Charles XIV John) took his first step on Swedish soil in Helsingborg on his journey from Paris to Stockholm.
From the middle of the 19th century onwards, however, Helsingborg was one of the fastest growing cities of Sweden, increasing its population from 4 000 in 1850 to 20 000 in 1890 and 56 000 in 1930 due to industrialization. From 1892 a train ferry was put in service, connecting Helsingborg with its Danish sister city Helsingør. A tramway network was inaugurated in 1903 and closed down in 1967. Plans are underway to reintroduce trams in the city.
Helsingborg is a major regional centre of trade, transport and business. In 2001 Campus Helsingborg, a branch of University of Lund, opened in the former Tretorn rubber factory buildings, originally founded by Henry Dunker. Three ferry companies take people and cargo to and from Denmark around the clock. The route is popular with day-trippers going to Elsinore or Copenhagen, or simply enjoying the views from the ferries. IKEA, the retailer of furniture and home interiors, has its international corporate headquarters in Helsingborg. Nicorette, the nicotine chewing gum, has a manufacturing plant there. Ramlösa is a mineral water from Ramlösa Brunn, a southern suburb of the city. Mobile phone developer Spectronic is also situated in Helsingborg. The online custom clothing retailer Tailor Store Sweden AB has its offices in Helsingborg,
The following sports clubs are located in Helsingborg:
- Hasse Alfredson, comedian
- Marianne Bernadotte, former fashion model and actress
- Kalle Brink, professional golfer
- Fabian Brunnstrom, ice hockey player
- Covenant, synth band
- Darkane, metal band
- Dieterich Buxtehude, composer and organist
- Elegant Machinery, synth band
- Pontus Farnerud, football player
- Louise Friberg, professional golfer
- Maja Ivarsson, lead singer of rock band The Sounds
- Joseph B. Johnson, Governor of the U.S. State of Vermont
- Karl Kruszelnicki, scientist (Dr Karl)
- Henrik Larsson, football player
- Johan Liiva, musician
- Andreas Lilja, ice hockey player
- Mikael Lundberg, golfer
- Mats Magnusson, football player
- Roland Nilsson, football player
- Tina Nordström, chef
- Oscar Olsson, educationalist
- Anette Olzon, rock singer
- Peps Persson, musician
- Ruben Rausing, founder of Tetra Pak
- Eric Saade, musician, presenter
- Marcus Schossow, Electronic DJ
- Caroline Seger, football player
- Jay Smith, singer
- Kalle Svensson, football player
- Tobias Tornkvist (born 1994), ice hockey player
- Östen Warnerbring, musician
- The Wasted Penguinz, Pontus Bergman & Jon Brandt-Cederhäll
- Johan Wissman, athlete
- Soilwork, metal band
- Terror 2000, metal band
- Velvet, singer
- Thomas Öberg, lead singer of bob hund
- Emil Krafth, football player
The City of Helsingborg is subdivided into 32 districts.
The northern harbour for yachts in Helsingborg
The Helsingborg city hall
Seasonally planted palm trees at "Tropical Beach".
Steps leading to Kärnan, central Helsingborg, close by the water front.
The Church of Saint Mary, central Helsingborg
Ramlösa mineral water, old spring from 1707
The ferry Hamlet on the Öresund between Helsingborg and Helsingør
Kärnan, the medieval tower
View over Helsingborg from Kärnan
View over Helsingborg from Kärnan