STOCKHOLM - CAPITAL -
LARGEST CITY IN SWEDEN
Sweden a country of forests, lakes and midnight Sun The geography of Sweden has Norrland in the north; the centre is covered with forests and mountains; the south-centre called is Svealand which has most of Sweden's 96,000 lakes; the south called Gotaland where the Smaland Highlands are and right down the south are the fertile plains of Skane.
The nearby Gulf Stream in the Atlantic influences Sweden's climate and therefore has a milder climate than its neighbours. Nevertheless, 15% of Sweden lies north of the Atlantic Circle. The winters are long and severe and in June and July the Sun never sets. Sweden has an enormous amount of trees of which the northern trees are fir, pine and birch but the south are mixed forests with some deciduous trees. Half of the country is covered with forests and therefore has a great wildlife such as moose, roe deer, foxes, weasels, ermines, hares, and in the north are bears, wolves and lynxes. The Sami are living in the northern mountains with their herd of reindeer.
THE ROYAL PALACE AND OFFICIAL RESIDENCE OF THE SWEDISH KING
LIFE IN SWEDEN AND ITS ECONOMY
Most of the population are from the same ancestors. They speak the same language and have the same religion. There are two native-born indigenous inhabitants. One is the Finnish-speaking people living in the north-east and the other group is the Sami living in the northern part of the country.
Sweden is one of the most sophisticated welfare states in the world. The children attend school from the age of seven to 16 and it is free. The social security system covers almost the universal benefits which includes a compulsory health-insurance reimburses most medical fees.
Sweden's biggest industry is iron ore. It has large deposits north of the Atlantic Circle and is the country's most important mineral deposit. Other mineral resources are gold, copper, silver, lead and zinc. Sweden produces hydroelectric power. Another important industry is their wood and glass products.
Although only 3% of the population are farm workers; Sweden's farms harvest are one of the highest in the world. Their main crops are wheat, sugar beet, barley and potatoes. They are also very successful with cattle and pigs breeding.
TYPICAL FARMHOUSE IN SMALAND
Another important manufacture, which is 24%, is heavy machinery like motor vehicles and aircraft.
After a law issued in 1260 Sweden was organized with peasant at the bottom and nobles on the top till 1389. Thereafter, Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united under Danish rules. In 1521 a Swedish nobleman seized power and was crowned a King of Sweden in 1523.
Under the House of Vasa the church became the national religion and the administration was re-organized. It was along the German lines and the king had the total authority. In 1544 a hereditary monarchy was established. Sweden became a major power by the mid-17th century. It had conquered many provinces from Denmark, Norway, Germany and Finland. However, it did not have the power to maintain the provinces and by the early 18th century lost most of the provinces. By that time it was reduced to the size it is nowadays. When the Napoleonic War broke out, Finland was conquered by Russia and Sweden lost her provinces in northern Germany.
In 1973 Carl XVI Gustaf was crowned king. He and Queen Silvia have three children. Crown Princess Victoria is their eldest child and heir to the thrown. The Royal Palace is Drottningholm Palace and on the outskirts of Stockholm.
Sweden has a democracy and every three years a general election. They achieve an attendance of voters of around 90%. The voters have to be over 18 years old. They vote for one of the three parties. When elected they share the 349 seats in the Riksdag.
1920 Sweden joined the League of Nations and in 1946 the United Nations. Ever since Sweden had taken part in numerous international peacekeeping missions. On 1 January 1995 Sweden joined the members of the European Union but will not join the EU defence Alliance thus keeping its policy of neutrality
SKIING IN GOTLAND
Sweden is a remarkable holiday's destination. In the summer there will be an enormous sight seeing in Stockholm with its residential palace of the Royal family, museum with artifact of an ancient history completely different to the rest of Europe. The countryside is fascinating with its diversity. Every island has a different way of life. The enormous forests are offering a great variety of wildlife. In the winter there is perfect snow condition and great ski facilities inf Gotland. Visiting the Samis with their reindeer herds will be an unforgettable experience.