The old water tower in Landskrona is a landmark that can be seen from far away
|• Total||12.09 km2 (4.67 sq mi)|
|Population (31 December 2010)|
|• Density||2,524/km2 (6,540/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Landskrona (Danish: Landskrone) is a late medieval town located at the shores of Øresund, founded at the location of the former Danish fishing village Sønder Sæby in the province of Scania by king Erik VII of Pomerania early in the 15th century. In 1720 the town, like its province, became a formal part of Sweden. Around the Castle build by Danish king Christian III in 1549, Landskrona Citadel, a huge system of moats emerged over the centuries, also in the town's Swedish history. Today the Citadel is famous for its well preserved moat system, which includes parts of four moats. At the northern part of the Citadel, Sweden's second, and today oldest allotment area is located. It's port is based on a natural chute in the sandy sea floor, despite the lack of any nearby debouching river.
The town had for many years a car ferry line to Copenhagen (Tuborg harbour, 70 minutes) Landskrona is located close to the Danish Capital. From Rådhustorget (Town Hall Square) in Landskrona to Amalienborg Royal Palace in central Copenhagen, the crow flight distance is around 22-23 km. In the later parts of the 19th century the town was transformed from a military settlement to a heavy industrial town. Between 1917 and 1983 Öresundsvarvet shipyard had up to 3,500 employees, but the town also had large manufacturers in the chemical and textile industry sectors. The football club Landskrona BoIS, which has participated in either of the top two Swedish league divisions during all but four seasons, ever since the Swedish football league system began in 1924-25, has always been important for the town and its inhabitants.
The city of Landskrona was founded at the location of Scania's (at that time a part of Denmark) best natural harbour, this an example of King Eric of Pomerania's anti-Hanseatic policy intended to compete with Danish towns under Hanseatic control. A Carmelite monastery was founded in 1410, English merchants were granted the privileges in a royal charter in 1412, and the town itself was chartered in 1413.
The foundation was done at a place for a fishing settlement, historical described as Sønder Sæby ("sønder" means "southern"). Today, there is still a very small settlement just north of the town, known as Säby (Sæby in Danish). This probably was the Nørre Sæby ("nørre" means "northern") in the beginning of the 15th century, but since the southern village became the town, the need for distinguishing northern and southern Sæby disappeared. The original name of the officially founded town was Landszcrone. But changed to Landskrone sometime before 1450. The town supported the king Christian II of Denmark (1525), and opposed the Reformation in Denmark (1535), and in both cases found itself among the defeated. The Reformist King Christian III of Denmark opted not to retaliate against the town, and instead founded a castle to protect the harbour. The castle, built where the monastery had been situated until the Reformation (which reached Denmark in 1536), was completed by 1559.
When Scania had been ceded to Sweden in 1658, the good harbour and the strong fort were reasons for plans to make Landskrona a commercial center of the acquired territory, with extraordinary privileges for foreign trade. The castle was reinforced by bastions, and the area inside the moats extended to 400x400 meters. The castle was considered the strongest and most modern in Scandinavia, but was temporarily lost to the Danes after a comparably short siege July 8-August 2, 1676. The commandant Colonel Hieronymus Lindeberg was consequently sentenced to death for high treason.
Any further plans for Landskrona were however not realized, for various reasons. The continued Swedish-Danish wars favoured Karlskrona, located at a safer distance from Denmark, replacing Landskrona as a naval base, and as such the fortifications were discontinued. Malmö remained the most important commercial town, despite Malmö lacking a harbour until the late 18th century. The fortifications at Landskrona were expanded considerably between 1747 and 1788, but were condemned in 1822, whereafter the garrison was abolished in 1869. The last military regiment, Skånska Husarregimentet, K5 was renamed and moved from Landskrona  (and neighbouring city Helsingborg) in the mid-1920s, to Uppsala In 1753 the Swedish military commander suddenly feared that the tower of Sancti Johannis Baptistae church could be a threat to the Citadel and demanded a demolition of the church  Even though the corner stone of a new church was laid the following year, the Sofia Albertina Church (by Carl Hårleman) wasn't inaugurated until 1788. And first by 1812 it was finished. Possibly as a compensation for the medieval and much larger old church, the new one got two towers. Which is considered rare for a non-Bishop seat church.
The walls and moats of the fortifications of Landskrona Citadel are today a recreational area. On its northern side, an allotment-garden area of cottages was founded in the final years of the 19th century. It's the oldest of its kind in Sweden today.
The town grew quickly after the industrial revolution and subsequent urbanization. During the first World War a large shipyard, Öresundsvarvet was constructed, but after the war the fast growing of Landskrona slowed, while nearby towns like Helsingborg, Lund and Malmö continued to grow. In the mid-1970s the shipyard had more than 3,500 people employed, this in a town with only 30,000 inhabitants (38,000 in the broader municipality). The shipyard was closed down in stages, and the very end came in 1983.
The town's centre and buildings along the entrance streets generally consists of buildings with between two and seven floors. Some of the buildings may give an impression of the town being larger than it actually is. Landskrona was also relatively larger today compared with a century ago. After the First World War, the town didn't grow as fast as many other Swedish towns did.
During "The Demolition Rampage Era", in Sweden a period between 1955 and 1975, when the word "old" in general ment "bad", in the context of architecture. Typically departement stores and parking houses replaced older buildings in town and city centres. Landskrona was relatively spared from this, but not entirely. Around "Rådhustorget", the Town Hall Square all but one building are build before Le Corbusier's Functionalism became popular. Most demolished buildings were low or of minor architectural value, but "Falcks hörna" (a block corner building with a rather unusual look) was considered a loss to the town in 1971. Pictures existsts here http://www.landskronadirekt.com/veckans/hilding.htm (last three pictures).
As a fortified town, stone houses were early preferred instead of wooden houses. Hence few examples of traditional Danish and Scanian half-timbered houses exists. Apart from the Castle (the actual building at the Citadel) and Sofia Albertina Church, other notable 19th-century or older buildings are "Rådhuset", the Town Hall, Landskrona Museum, the old Railway station building and the Theatre.
By 1901 the town employed its first town architect, and much of the town's central parts, and buildings along the (partly former) entrance roads are characterized by the former town architechts Fredrik Sundbärg 1901-1913 and Frans Ekelund 1913-1949. Sundberg created a number of monumental buildings like the old Water tower, the remarkable school "Tuppaskolan", the power station and a hot bathhouse (which though was demolated in the 1970s), as well as two large block of flats Falken and Gripen, mainly intended for the working class.
Ekelund, who was a believer in "Trädgårdsstaden" or Garden City, created areas within for own homes whithin the town limits. Ralph Erskine created the row house area called "Esperanza" (Spanish for hope) around 1970. In that year also the "UFO-inspired" new Water Tower was taken into operation. No real monumental building has been build since then. Not even the new railway station can be considered as a such building.
In January 2001, a new railway station opened in Landskrona on the West Coast railway between Lund and Gothenburg along the Swedish west coast. This was very important for the town, since the old station was a terminal for southbound trains only. The new station is along the high-speed rail line between Copenhagen and Gothenburg, and all trains stop at the station. The connection between the new station and the city centre, "the Station Shuttle," has been operated with trolleybuses from 27 September 2003. Landskrona is now the only city in Sweden operating trolleybuses.
For many years, Landskrona was serviced by car ferries to and from Copenhagen. After the last ferry line closed in 1993, passenger traffic with high-speed ships continued to traffic the route to Copenhagen, but after the Øresund bridge opened in the summer of 2000, the competition from the trains ended also the speed-boat traffic to Copenhagen, by end of March 2002. It's a bit cheaper and not too discomfortable, to travel to Copenhagen also with northbound trains to Helsingborg and there transfer to the ferries to Elsinore, and then travel southbound again. The time this route takes depends on how long one has to wait for the ferry and train at Danish side, but as the ferries at the HH Car Ferry route departures every 15th minute in each direction, and the trains from Elsinore to Copenhagen departures every 20th minute, so such waiting times are usually low. A special ticket "Öresund Rundt" (Around Øresund) is the cheapest return ticket possible, except for daily commuters. (By autumn 2014 priced to 249 SEK.) The ticket gives free local trafic in Copenhagen (zones 1,2 & 3) and is valid for two days. The only obstacle is that one has to use the bridge in one direction and the ferries the opposite way.
The following sports clubs are located in Landskrona:
- "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.
- Erik the seventh of Denmark http://danmarkshistorien.dk/leksikon-og-kilder/vis/materiale/erik-af-pommern-ca-1382-1459/
- Source states the traditional 1413 as founding, but findings in Danish National archive indicates the town to be even older. However "early in 15th century" is supported by the source at http://www.citadellet.com/landskrona-citadell-en-minihistoria/
- Special 600 year magazine given to all household in the municipality, labeled "Landzcrone"
- For the time 1959-1980 http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/skandinavisk_linjetrafik.htm
- 1985-94 http://www.faktaomfartyg.se/scarlett_line.htm
- Speed ships, passengers and cykles only http://www.hitta.se/flygb%C3%A5tarna+landskrona-k%C3%B6penhamn/landskrona/~Sj_wvbooJ
- Google Maps
- Special "newspaper", labeled "Landszcrone" given free to all households in Landskrona municipality in March 2013, as a part of the 600-year anniversary celebration
- It existed in 1910, http://runeberg.org/nfbo/0544.html
- Swedish Wiki, "Skånska Husarregimentet"
- Swedish encyklopedia "Lilla Uppslagsboken", 1958 Förlagshuset Norden AB, Malmö, volyme 6 of 10,article "Landskrona"
- http://nfo.nu/?p=116933 , last line covers Landskrona-Copenhagen as well
- Landskrona Municipality - Official site
- Landskrona Trolleybus - Pictures from the construction of the trolleybus line (in Swedish)
- Landskrona Posten - Local Newspaper
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