Åre in February 2003 12:34 PM
|• Total||1.67 km2 (0.64 sq mi)|
(31 December 2010)
|• Density||848/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Åre (Swedish pronunciation: [²oːrɛ]; also informally called Åresjön, "Åre Lake") is a locality and one of the leading Scandinavian ski resorts situated in Åre Municipality, Jämtland County, Sweden with 1,417 inhabitants in 2010. It is, however, not the seat of the municipality, which is Järpen. 25% of the municipal industry is based on tourism, most notably the downhill skiing and biking resorts in Åre, Duved and Storlien. The growth in tourism has resulted in the development of hotels, recreational and shopping opportunities in the area.
For more than 1000 years people have lived in the foothills of Mount Åre. 1000 years ago Åre's surrounding areas were inhabited by Vikings. This can be seen in the names of the nearby villages, like Fröå and Ullå which descend from names of two Norse gods.
In the 12th century the Åre Old Church was built and people had to convert from their old beliefs. Saint Olaf the Holy is a historical figure who has influenced the village and for centuries pilgrims passed through the village on their way to Trondheim. Sami people settled in the mid-17th century to take advantage of good reindeer pasture. In the 18th and 19th century the copper mines in Fröå were important industries. Tourism started to grow with the establishment of a railroad in 1882, and Åre's first Grand Hotel was erected in 1896. The kings of Sweden and Norway came to stay in Åre and Storlien for recreational purposes since the 19th century.
Åre is situated in Åredalen (Åre Valley), approximately 400 metres (1,300 ft) AMSL at the coastline of Åresjön lake. Through Åre goes the European route E14 and the Mittbanan railway, connecting the larger towns Östersund and Trondheim.
Tourism in Åre started as King Oscar II in 1882 supervised construction of the Östersund–Trondheim railway. With this new railway many people came to Åre to breathe the fresh air and to walk to the top of Åreskutan. They were soon known as "air-guests" (Sw. luftgäster).
There was no hotel, but in 1888 Albin Wettergren opened a restaurant by the railway station. In 1891 Åre Tourist Station opened and even more guests were attracted to the village.
A woman from Östersund saw this increasing tourism as a great opportunity to open a hotel and did so in 1895. It was called "Hotell Åreskutan". Also Albin Wettergren opened a hotel ("Grand Hotell"). These were only a few of all the hotels that were going to be founded in Åre.
In 1910, the funicular Åre Bergbana was built and was the third one in Sweden after the one in Skansen in Stockholm (1898) and the one in Kiruna (1907). This was a more convenient way for the air-guests to reach the top of Åreskutan.
In 2008 the hotel Copperhill Mountain Lodge opened on the top of the Förberget hill. Designed by American architect Peter Bohlin it is the only mountain hotel in Scandinavia referred to as a Design Hotel.
Taking advantage of the Åreskutan fell, the major center for alpine skiing in Sweden has become Åre Ski Area, sporting more than 30 modern ski-lifts. It hosted the Alpine World Championships in 1954 and 2007, and the annual Jon Olsson Invitational freeskiing competition, ending in 2007. On March 9–10, 2012 the Freestyle FIS World Cup will be held in "slalombacken" close to the village centre.
Åre has also always been the site for the alpine events, every time Sweden has bid for the organization of the Olympic Winter Games, including for the 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2022 Winter Olympics. This is because Åre has the only piste in Sweden suitable for top-level downhill races. It will be used for skiing and snowboarding events if Stockholm is awarded the 2026 Winter Olympics.
- Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers goaltender, gold medalist in 2006, 2012 Vezina trophy winner and is twins with Joel Lundqvist
- Joel Lundqvist – Frölunda HC captain and checking forward, 2 time world champion, former Dallas Star and is twins with Henrik Lundqvist
- Henrik Windstedt – winner of the 2008 Freeride World Tour
- Lars-Börje Eriksson – Olympic alpine skiing bronze medalist
- Henrik Harlaut – Professional freestyle skier
Åre has since the 1990s become the largest mountainbike resort in Sweden. In 1999 it was the host for the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships and it hosted the Nordic Championships 2007. There are numerous graded downhill cycling trails. The Åre Bikepark is open from 1 May until 15 October and is the host for the Mayhem Festival.
During summer Åre can also sport hiking, paragliding, kayaking, and a golf course about 15 minutes from the village. In July every year there is a multisport competition in Åre – Åre Extreme Challenge. It counts as the Scandinavian championship in multisport.
"One of the world's ten best ski-resorts"
The nearest airport is situated 99 kilometres (62 mi) eastward, on the island of Frösön in Östersund. Åre Östersund Airport is an international airport and the ninth biggest in Sweden with roughly 390 000 passengers (2005).
Åre also has a train station. Norrtåg operates the Mittbanan railway from Storlien (where Trondheim-bound diesel trains connect), via Åre and Östersund to Sundsvall. Åre is connected to Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö through long distance SJ 3000 (higher-speed trains) and InterCity. Åre is also served by seasonal overnight trains.
Åre Östersund Airport terminal
- "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.
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