Skyline of Karlskrona
|• City||21.72 km2 (8.39 sq mi)|
|Elevation||16 m (52 ft)|
|Population (31 December 2010)|
|• Density||1,621/km2 (4,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||371 xx|
|Area code(s)||(+46) 455|
|Naval Port of Karlskrona|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|UNESCO region||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||1998 (22nd Session)|
Karlskrona is a locality and the seat of Karlskrona Municipality, Blekinge County, Sweden with 35,212 inhabitants in 2010. It is also the capital of Blekinge County. Karlskrona is known as Sweden's only baroque city and is host to Sweden's only remaining naval base and the headquarters of the Swedish Coast Guard.
The city of Karlskrona is spread over 30 islands in the eastern part of Blekinge archipelago, Trossö being the main one; another is Saltö. The islet of Stumholmen was formerly property of the Navy and today it houses the National Naval Museum (Marinmuseum). Outside the city lies the archipelago of Karlskrona, the most southern of the Swedish archipelagos. Several islands are connected to the city by ferries.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2012)|
The city was founded in 1680 when the Royal Swedish Navy was relocated from the Stockholm area to the Trossö island which had up until then been used chiefly for farming and grazing. At the time Sweden was the dominant military power in the Baltic sea region, but needed a better strategic location against Denmark, since southern parts of Sweden had been conquered only a few decades ago (see the Torstenson War). The Swedish fleet tended to get stuck in the ice during winter while located to Stockholm and was therefore moved south. The island had a very strategic position with short sailing distances to the German and Baltic provinces. The city name means Karl's Crown in honour of King Karl XI of Sweden, the name being inspired by the name of the city Landskrona.
The city grew quickly and by 1750 Karlskrona had about 10,000 inhabitants. It was then one of the biggest cities in the country. Most of the baroque buildings from this era are still standing, which is why the city centre is architecturally uniform.
The shipyard in Karlskrona was established almost at the same time as the city. It was a necessity because of the heavy losses the Swedish navy had suffered in 1689. In 1711, the shipyard was Sweden's largest industrial employer with 1,100 workers. The oldest dock, the Polhem dock, is cut in the cliff itself and is still in use. It got its name from Christopher Polhem ("The Swedish DaVinci", a famous scientist with several inventions still in use).
The city has kept its street structure since its foundation. Since the streets all follow a grid pattern the winds can blow freely from the sea right into the heart of the city.
In October 1981 the Whiskey-class Soviet submarine S-363 (called "U137" by the Swedes) ran aground in the archipelago just outside Karlskrona. The media characterized it as the "Whiskey on the Rocks" affair. The incident caused a temporary rise in tensions between Sweden and the Soviet Union. While the submarine's grounding was inadvertent, and likely the result of inebriation among the crew, the submarine almost certainly was engaged in an unspecified covert mission at the time.
The most important day in Karlskrona is the day before midsummer's eve. On that day a big fair takes place and attracts tens of thousands to visit Karlskrona. The fair is called Lövmarknaden (The Leaf Fair) and is very popular among the locals.
The main square of Karlskrona is the biggest in Scandinavia.
Every year in late July/early August a popular festival called The Sail takes place in the harbor of Karlskrona. Usually it is a place where families go to have something to eat and drink, and perhaps watch the sailing boats lined up at the pier. During the sail, the seascouts of Karlskrona will row a boat carrying torches along the docks while playing the national anthems for the visiting ships.
The old architecture together with the naval installations comprise the major tourist attractions of Karlskrona. The city has a pleasant atmosphere and is one of the highlights of south-east Sweden.
There are three important churches in Karlskrona. Fredrikskyrkan (The Frederick church) was designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Younger, who was influenced by European architecture. The foundation of that church were laid in 1720, and it was inaugurated in 1744. It differs from usual Swedish churches in its yellow color and its adornment.
Trefaldighetskyrkan (Church of Holy Trinity), also called The German Church, was built between 1697–1709, following Tessin's drawings. It is likewise located at the market square in the centre core. The dome-shaped roof takes its influence from Italian architecture and is rarely seen on Swedish churches.
- Karlskrona City Parish (from 10 August 1680)
- Karlskrona German Parish (from 10 August 1680 to 1 November 1846)
- Karlskrona Prisoner's Parish (from 1808 to 4 July 1866)
- The Mosaic Parish in Karlskrona (1785 to 1994)
- Royal Karlskrona Admiralty Parish (from 1681, a non-territorial parish)
The following sports clubs are located in Karlskrona:
- "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2005 och 2010" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 14 December 2011. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- Berezin, Henrik (30 April 2006). Adventure Guide Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway, & Denmark. Hunter Publishing, Inc. pp. 120–. ISBN 978-1-58843-579-8. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Karlskrona". www.worldheritagesite.org. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karlskrona.|
- Karlskrona Municipality - Official site
- Photos from Karlskrona
- (Swedish) article Karlskrona (from online version of Nordisk familjebok)