|County||Västra Götaland County|
|• Total||11.57 km2 (4.47 sq mi)|
|Population (31 December 2010)|
|• Density||1,876/km2 (4,860/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Vänersborg is a locality and the seat of Vänersborg Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden with 21,699 inhabitants in 2010. Until 1997 it was the capital of Älvsborg County, which was dissolved in 1998. Since 1999 Vänersborg is the seat of the regional parliament of Västra Götaland County. The city is located on the southern shores of lake Vänern, close to where the river Göta älv leaves the lake.
The marketplace Brätte was granted town privileges in 1580s. The name "Vänersborg" means "fortress at Vänern". It comes from the fortlet which was built in 1644 for protection. The coat of arms is also from 1644, depicting a golden ship (a bojort) with two Swedish flags.
Around 1800, Vänersborg had a population of 1,500 inhabitants. Vänersborg was the point at which freight was transshipped from lake ships to below the Trollhättan Falls (and vice versa) where ships could continue unhindered to Gothenburg and beyond. In 1778, the King Karl Canal was opened between Vänersborg and Trollhättan, shortening the overland portage and in 1800, the new Trollhätte Canal and its locks allowed shipping to move between Vanern and the sea. The waterway between Vänern and Gothenburg enabled the town's importance to grow further.
In 1834, most of the town's wooden houses burnt down. It was rebuilt in a grid pattern, unique to this day.
Handicraft, trade, shipping and its former status as the county seat of Älvsborgs County has benefited Vänersborg's development. Ever since the 1600s, the city's inhabitants consisted of a dynamic mix of administrators, businessmen, artisans and skilled craftsmen. Today the municipality is characterized by more high-tech engineering companies, IT and electronics, education and skilled service. Public administration still plays an important role.
The bandy club IFK Vänersborg plays in the highest division Elitserien and Arena Vänersborg is one of the most modern indoor arenas for bandy. Arena Vänersborg caused a great commotion, due to it exceeding its budget, landing the final cost of the arena at a 300 000 000 SEK, and counting.
On 22 November 2010, Vänersborg's Mayor, Lars-Göran Ljunggren (Social Democrat), resigned following two scandals of Arena Vänersborg, whose costs greatly exceeded the original budget, and the Toppfrys deal, which was investigated by the European Union Economic Commission. Ljunggren had spent 30 years on Vänersborg City Council, and three and a half years as mayor. He was succeeded in 2011 by the Conservative politician Gunnar Lidell, who remains as mayor.
The poet Birger Sjöberg (1885–1929) was born in Vänersborg. He wrote appreciatively about Vänersborg, most notably in Fridas bok (1922), wherein the comparison "Vänersborg – little Paris" is found. The park in the northern part of Vänersborg, Skräckleparken, offers a picturesque view over lake Vänern, and therein also stands this statue of mentioned Ragnar.
The prominent Swedish explorer and trader, Axel Eriksson was also born in Vänersborg. The Municipal Museum displays a collection of birds from south-western Africa that were collected by Eriksson.
Swedish singer Agnes Carlsson was born in Vänersborg.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vänersborg.|
- "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.
- "Shipping on Lake Vanern". Vanerregionens Naringslivsrad. p. 4. Retrieved 10 September 2011.