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Top:Panorama view of downtown Sundsvall, Stenstaden and South Stadsberget, 2nd left:Mid Sweden University (Mittuniversitetet), 2nd right:Court of Appeal for Lower Norrland in Bunsouska Pond, 3rd left:North Gate Arena and Gustav Adolf Church, 3rd right:Sundsvall Theater, Bottom:Kulturmagasiret, Sundsvall Museum and Library
Top:Panorama view of downtown Sundsvall, Stenstaden and South Stadsberget, 2nd left:Mid Sweden University (Mittuniversitetet), 2nd right:Court of Appeal for Lower Norrland in Bunsouska Pond, 3rd left:North Gate Arena and Gustav Adolf Church, 3rd right:Sundsvall Theater, Bottom:Kulturmagasiret, Sundsvall Museum and Library
Sundsvall is located in Sweden
Coordinates: 62°24′N 17°19′E / 62.400°N 17.317°E / 62.400; 17.317Coordinates: 62°24′N 17°19′E / 62.400°N 17.317°E / 62.400; 17.317
Country Sweden
Province Medelpad
County Västernorrland County
Municipality Sundsvall Municipality
 • Total 27.46 km2 (10.60 sq mi)
Population (31 December 2010)[1]
 • Total 51,354
 • Density 1,847/km2 (4,780/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Sundsvall (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈsɵn(d)sˈval]About this sound   ) is a city and the seat of Sundsvall Municipality in Västernorrland County, Sweden. It has a population of 51,354 as of 2010; more than 95,000 live in the surrounding municipal area.


Sundsvall circa 1700, in Suecia antiqua et hodierna.

The town was chartered in 1621, and a first urban plan for Sundsvall was probably created by Olof Bure in 1642, less likely in 1623.[2] It has a port by the Gulf of Bothnia, and is located 395 km north of Stockholm. The city has burned down and been rebuilt four times.[3] The first time, in 1721, it was set on fire by the Russian army during the Great Northern War.

The city was burnt on 25 June 1888[4]

According to one historian,[who?] Swedish industrialism started in Sundsvall when the Tunadal sawmill bought a steam-engine driven saw in 1849. In the early 20th century Sundsvall was an even greater centre of forestry industry in Sweden than it is today. The first large Swedish strike was the "Sundsvall strike" in 1879.[5] The industrial heritage makes social democrat and socialist sympathies more prevalent in the Sundsvall region than in Sweden as a whole.

In 1888 on the 25 June there were two city fires in Sweden. On this day Umeå caught on fire, while Sundsvall itself was also devastated by a fire that was strengthened by a strong wind and dry conditions.[4] The Sundsvall fire was the largest in Sweden's history. It is presumed that the fire was caused by a spark from a steamship. After the fire, and unlike Umeå, the decision was to rebuild using stone. Sundsvall's centre was later nicknamed Stenstaden (the stone city). One advantage of the new construction was that within three years the town was arguing that it should be allowed reduced insurance as new rules had been brought in that applied to wooden towns. One disadvantage was that after the fire only the better off could afford to live in the centre.[6]

Today Sundsvall is not only dominated by the pulp and paper industry, and the aluminium production but there are also banks, insurance companies, telecommunications administration and a number of large public data-processing centres such as the national social insurance board. The main campus of the newly established Mid Sweden University is also located in the city.

Storgatan, the famous main street in Sundsvall in the heart of Stenstaden ("The stone city")



Each July the town holds a large, commercial music festival in the city called Gatufesten. There are two theatres and various musical venues. There is also a small guitar festival and a larger heavy metal festival every autumn called Nordfest. Sundsvall is also home to the unique festival Musikschlaget which is an alternative song contest for groups around Sweden with disabilities.


Its airport is Sundsvall-Timrå Airport, also called Midlanda.


Notable people[edit]


On December 8, 2010, professional bodybuilder Toney Freeman was detained by Sundsvall police during a promotional appearance in a local store. The police knew that Freeman and other international bodybuilders were coming to Sweden for a fitness festival from promotional posters. According to Freeman, he was taken to the police station and was denied a legal representative and forced to give a urine sample.[7] Reports allege that Freeman tested positive for testosterone, human growth hormone, and cannabis.[8][9][10][11][12][13] He was released the same day with no charge. On December 31, 2010, Freeman responded to the allegations with an official statement and a video in which he emphasized he had not been treated properly by being denied an advocate or communication with the U.S. embassy.[14][15]

Freeman became the first[citation needed] international professional bodybuilder to be detained by the Swedish police under "muscle profiling",[16] a profiling method once used by Stockholm police in which suspicion of performance enhancing drug use is based solely on physical appearance.[17] The possession of such substances as steroids is illegal in Sweden. According to others who have been detained in this manner, police use the size and appearance of the bodybuilder to detain them, then aim to prove their case with blood or urine samples taken at the station.[18] Police staff member Henrik Blusi generalized the actions taken against Freeman to all professional bodybuilders, saying: "If you are a professional bodybuilder you should not come to Sundsvall. We are very well informed here. We are currently conducting the largest doping trial in Europe, and then one should understand that we have an eye out for these things now."[19]


Sundsvall.jpg Sundsvall in Sweden from above.jpg Gustav Adolfs kyrka Sundsvall.jpg
Sundsvall viewed from above Sundsvall City Centre Gustav Adolfskyrkan


Sundsvall has a climate which is on the border between subarctic and cold continental. Temperatures are made significantly milder and regulated by the influence from the Gulf Stream.

Climate data for Sundsvall
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −5
Average low °C (°F) −15
Rainfall mm (inches) 38
Avg. precipitation days 16 13 13 11 11 11 14 14 15 15 15 16 164
Source: World Meteorogical Organization[20]


  1. ^ a b "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. 
  2. ^ Nils Ahlberg, Stadsgrundningar och planförändringar : Svensk stadsplanering 1521–1721, avhandling vid Institutionen för landskapsplanering Ultuna och Konstvetenskapliga institutionen, Stockholms universitet 2005, s. 550
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Fire of 1888,, retrieved 28 May 2014
  5. ^
  6. ^ Rohland, Eleonora (1 February 2011). "From Wood to Stone: The Risk Management of Swiss Re in The Sundsvall Fire 1888". Environment and History 17 (1): 153–169. doi:10.3197/096734011X12922359173096. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Millard Baker (3 January 2011). "Pro Bodybuilder Toney Freeman Speaks Out Against Sweden War on Bodybuilders". Mesomorphosis. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  8. ^ William Svärd (2010). "Kroppsbyggarstjärna greps för dopningsbrott (Bodybuilder star detained for doping crime)" (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  9. ^ Malin Elfving (2010). "Här grips stjärnan misstänkt för dopningsbrott" (in Swedish). Sundsvalls tidning. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Känd bodybuilder gripen i Sundsvall" (Web TV) (in Swedish). Expressen. 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Joe Pietaro (9 December 2010). "Toney Freeman arrested in Sweden". Muscles production (blog). Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Jewbacca Singerman (9 December 2010). "Muscle Gossip #9: Freeman Taken into Custody in Sweden!". RX Muscle. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  13. ^ "Toney Freeman in Schweden verhaftet" (in German). Body Xtreme. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Toney Freeman press statement". Google docs. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "Toney Freeman - New Year Greetings". YouTube. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "no title known" (in Swedish). Metro. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  17. ^ millardbaker (11 May 2009). "IFBB Pro Bodybuilders Martin Kjellström and Irene Andersen Interrogated in Swedish Steroid Investigation". Zimbio. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  18. ^ "Man arrested for having big muscles". The local. 13 August 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Här grips stjärnan misstänkt för dopningsbrott" (in Swedish). Sundsvalls Tidning. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  20. ^ World Meteorogical Organization: WWIS: Sundsvall

External links[edit]