Town square, Alderholmen, old town, the high-rise "Fullriggaren" at Gävle Strand, the town hall, buildings alongside the river of Gavleån
|• City||42.45 km2 (16.39 sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,615.07 km2 (623.58 sq mi)|
|Elevation||8 m (26 ft)|
|• Density||1,673/km2 (4,330/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||(+46) 26|
Gävle (pronounced [ˈjɛːvlɛ] (
An urban area or tätort in Sweden has a minimum of 200 inhabitants and may be a city, town or larger village. It is a purely statistical concept, not defined by any municipal or county boundaries. Urban areas referred to as cities or towns for statistical purposes have a minimum of 10,000 inhabitants. The same statistical definition is also used for urban areas in the other Nordic countries.
Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.
Gävle Municipality is a municipality in east central Sweden where the City Gävle is the municipal seat.
In recent years, the city has received a lot of international attention due to its large Yule Goat figure made of straw - the Gävle Goat. The goat is erected in December each year and is often subsequently vandalised, usually by someone setting it on fire. The goat has now become a symbol for the city and is being used for various marketing purposes.
The Yule goat is a Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbol and tradition. Its origin may be Germanic pagan and has existed in many variants during Scandinavian history. Modern representations of the Yule goat are typically made of straw.
It is believed that the name Gävle derives from the word gavel, meaning river banks in Old Swedish and referring to the Gavleån (Gävle River). The oldest settlement was called Gävle-ägarna, which means "Gavel-owners". This name was shortened to Gävle, then Gefle, and finally Gävle.
Old Swedish is the name for two distinct stages of the Swedish language that were spoken in the Middle Ages: Early Old Swedish, spoken from around 1225 until 1375, and Late Old Swedish, spoken from 1375 until 1526.
Gavleån, Gävleån or Gävle River is a watercourse in the middle Gästrikland of Sweden from Storsjön to Gävle Bay (Gävlebukten) in the Bothnian Sea.
Gävle is first mentioned as a town in official history books in the year 1413 but only received its official town charters in the year 1446.
For a long time Gävle consisted solely of small, low, turf or shingle roofed wooden buildings. Boat-houses lined the banks of Gavleån, Lillån, and Islandsån. Until the 18th century the town was built, as was the practice then, around the three most important buildings: the church, the regional palace, and the town hall.
Sod or turf is grass and the part of the soil beneath it held together by its roots or another piece of thin material.
Roof shingles are a roof covering consisting of individual overlapping elements. These elements are typically flat, rectangular shapes laid in courses from the bottom edge of the roof up, with each successive course overlapping the joints below. Shingles are made of various materials such as wood, slate, flagstone, metal, plastic, and composite materials such as fibre cement and asphalt shingles. Ceramic roof tiles, which still dominate in Europe and some parts of Asia, are still usually called tiles. Roof shingles may deteriorate faster and need to repel more water than wall shingles. They are a very common roofing material in the United States.
A church building or church house, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly for Christian worship services. The term is often used by Christians to refer to the physical buildings where they worship, but it is sometimes used to refer to buildings of other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area.
Over the last 300 years Gävle has been ablaze on three different occasions. After the fire of 1776 the town was rebuilt with straight streets and rectangular city blocks. The number of stone and brick houses also started to increase. The biggest town fire occurred 1869, when out of a population of around 10,000 approximately 8,000 inhabitants lost their homes, and about 350 farms were destroyed. Almost the whole town north of Gavleån was burnt down. All the buildings south of Gavleån were saved. An area of the old town between the museum and the library has been preserved to this day as a historic reserve, Gamla Gefle .
A farm is an area of land that is devoted primarily to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops; it is the basic facility in food production. The name is used for specialised units such as arable farms, vegetable farms, fruit farms, dairy, pig and poultry farms, and land used for the production of natural fibres, biofuel and other commodities. It includes ranches, feedlots, orchards, plantations and estates, smallholdings and hobby farms, and includes the farmhouse and agricultural buildings as well as the land. In modern times the term has been extended so as to include such industrial operations as wind farms and fish farms, both of which can operate on land or sea.
After the catastrophe of the fire Gävle developed its characteristic grid plan with large esplanades and green areas. It is now a green town with wide avenues. Stopping the spread of future town fires was the main idea behind this development.
An extensive redevelopment of the central town area was started during the 1950s. Around 1970 Gävle became a large urban district when it was united with the nearby municipalities of Valbo, Hamrånge, Hedesunda, and Hille. New suburbs like Stigslund, Sätra, Andersberg, and Bomhus have grown up around the central city.
In the middle of the 1800s to the beginning of the 1900s there was a bad harvest and a high unemployment rate in Sweden.At the same time, political and religious oppression occurred, and religious encounters outside the State Church were not allowed. This led many Swedes to emigrate to other countries such as the United States. During the early emigration era, Gävle was one of the cities from which people left on their journey to the US. People from different parts of Gästrikland and other neighboring counties made their way to the harbor town of Gävle and then commenced their departure to America.
In 1986 as a result of the Chernobyl disaster, Gävle was subjected to a severe deposition of radionuclides, exceeding 185 kBq per square meter. The impact was much greater than experienced by other regions of western Europe and as such, Gävle became one of the most affected areas outside of the Soviet Union.
Gävle is situated by the Baltic Sea near the mouth of the river Dalälven. At 60 degrees north and 17 degrees east, Gävle has the same latitude as Helsinki and the same longitude as Vienna and Cape Town. Bordering municipalities are Söderhamn, Ockelbo, Sandviken, Heby, Tierp and Älvkarleby. Twenty kilometers west of Gävle lies Sandviken.
Gävle has a similar climate to the rest of central Sweden, with an average temperature of around −10 °C (14 °F) in January and 20 °C (68 °F) in July. Yearly rainfall is around 600 mm (23.62 in). Under the Köppen climate classification Gävle is classified as humid continental, in spite of the significant maritime influence. It is also one of the northernmost cities by significant size in the world with this climate type, since areas north of the 60th parallel for the most part are dominated by various subarctic climate types. Under the 1961-1990 normals, Gävle's fourth warmest month was just around the isotherm of 10 °C (50 °F) to not be classified as subarctic, but temperatures did go up sufficiently to be clear humid continental since.
|Climate data for Gävle (2002–2018 averages; extremes since 1901)|
|Record high °C (°F)||11.0|
|Mean maximum °C (°F)||6.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−4.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.4|
|Mean minimum °C (°F)||−20.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||−30.4|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||35.2|
|Source #1: SMHI Open Data|
|Source #2: SMHI climate data 2002–2018|
Trade from the port of Gävle increased markedly during the 15th century when copper and iron began to be exported from the port. In order to ensure that all trade was via Stockholm, sailing to foreign ports from Gävle and a few other ports was forbidden.
During the 16th century, Gävle was one of the most important port and merchant towns with many shipping companies and shipyards.
In 1787 Gävle was awarded "free and unrestricted sailing rights" to and from foreign ports. This led to an increase in trade, which in turn led to an increase in buildings, industrial developments, trade and shipping.
Today there are few shipping companies or shipyards left, but an important port remains. It has over 1000 ships calling per year and is among the top ten common ports in Sweden.
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Gävle has, considering its size, a large and well nourished cultural life, being a cradle for many musicians such as The Deer Tracks and The Sound of Arrows. The city applied to become the European Capital of Culture in 2014.
The prison museum of Sweden, the county museum of Gävleborg, and the national railway museum are the three largest museums in the city. The prison museum is located near Gävle Castle and depicts the history of crime and punishment in Sweden. The county museum (located downtown) hosts an art collection spanning from the 1600s to present time and well as a section dedicated to cultural history. Finally, the Swedish Railway Museum (Rälsgatan 1), hosts a collection that began to accumulate in 1906 in Stockholm and which was moved to Gävle in 1970.
Gävle has a theater dating back to the 1800s. It is still used for performances today, including classic theater, opera, variety and stand-up.
There is also a concert hall in Gävle which was inaugurated in 1998. It is home to the 1912 Gävle Symphony Orchestra, whose principal conductor is Jaime Martín.
Gefle Dagblad founded in 1895 [ citation needed ]and Arbetarbladet are the two leading media outlets covering Gävle in the papers. Both have a long history dating back to the early 1900s and the late 1800s, respectively. Aside from this, the Swedish national public TV broadcaster, SVT, has an editorial office in the city and the national public radio Sveriges radio broadcasts from the city.
Gävle has teams competing in the highest national league in football (Gefle IF) as well as ice hockey (Brynäs IF) and floorball (Gävle GIK).
The University College of Gävle currently enrolls 14,500 students.It offers over 800 courses and 45 degree programs in technology, social- and natural sciences and the humanities. Its research profiles are "Built Environment" ("Byggd miljö") and "Health in working life" ("Hälsofrämjande arbetsliv"). Some courses are offered in English and are taken by both international and Swedish students.
Gävle is known for being the birthplace of the Gevalia coffee brand, which is produced by Kraft General Foods Scandinavia and exported around the globe. Gevalia is particularly popular in the Americas and produces dozens of unique flavored coffees for the United States that are not available to its customers in Europe. However, visitors who come to the factory in Gävle can sample many of the premium blends. (Gevalia is the Latin name for Gävle).
Other brands from Gävle include the throat lozenges Läkerol and the car-shaped sweets Ahlgrens Bilar.
Gävle preserves the memory of the Swedish-American labor activist and martyr Joel Emmanuel Hägglund, better known as Joe Hill, who was born there in 1879. The Hägglund family home still stands in Gävle at the address Nedre Bergsgatan 28, in Gamla Stan, the Old Town. As of 2011 [update] it houses a museum and the Joe Hill-gården, which hosts cultural events.
The history of the Gävle goat began in 1966. Stig Gavlén came up with the idea of placing a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas goat of straw in Slottstorget (Castle Square) in central Gävle. On 1 December the 13-metre tall, 7-metre long, 3 tonne goat was erected on the square. At midnight on New Year's Eve, the goat went up in flames. The goat has since had a history of being burnt almost every year, 2005 being the 22nd time it was burnt. Burning the goat is an illegal act and not welcomed by most citizens of Gävle, but undoubtedly this is what has made the goat famous. In 2006 the goat was covered in a flame-resistant coating to prevent arson, enabling the goat to remain standing throughout that winter. On December 27, 2015, the goat was burnt for the 28th time.
Gävle is a member city of Eurotowns network.
Gävle Hospital has approximately 300 physicians, and serves an area of approximately 150.000 people.It has a centre for clinical research in cooperation with Uppsala University.
Gävle is twinned with five cities:
Jönköping is a city in southern Sweden with 93,797 inhabitants (2015). Jönköping is situated at the southern end of Sweden's second largest lake, Vättern, in the province of Småland.
Valbo is a locality situated in Gävle Municipality, Gävleborg County, Sweden with 7,065 inhabitants in 2010. It is situated south-west of Gävle itself and could be considered a suburb of the city.
Örebro is a city with 117,543 inhabitants, the seat of Örebro Municipality and the capital of Örebro County in Sweden. It is the seventh largest city in Sweden and one of the largest inland hubs of the country. It is located near the lake of Hjälmaren, although a few kilometres inland along the small river Svartån.
Karlstad is a city, the seat of Karlstad Municipality, the capital of Värmland County, and the largest city in the province Värmland in Sweden. The city had 61,492 inhabitants in 2015 with 90,882 inhabitants in the wider municipality in 2017, and is the 21st biggest municipality in Sweden. Karlstad has a university and a cathedral.
Delsbo is a locality in Hudiksvall Municipality, Gävleborg County, Sweden, with 2,192 inhabitants in 2010. It is situated some 25 kilometers west of Hudiksvall, in the vicinity of the two lakes of Dellen. The town is known for its assembly of musicians at Delsbo Ancient Farm every year.
Umeå is a city in north east Sweden. It is the seat of Umeå Municipality and the capital of Västerbotten County. The city is located on the Ume River.
Sollefteå is a locality and the seat of Sollefteå Municipality in Västernorrland County, Sweden with 8,562 inhabitants in 2010.
Skellefteå is a city and the seat of Skellefteå Municipality in Västerbotten County, Sweden, with 32,775 inhabitants in 2010. The municipality had approximately 72,000 inhabitants at the end of 2013.
Lycksele is a locality and the seat of Lycksele Municipality in Västerbotten County, province of Lapland, Sweden with 8,513 inhabitants in 2010.
Halmstad is a port, university, industrial and recreational city at the mouth of the Nissan river, in the province of Halland on the Swedish west coast. Halmstad is the seat of Halmstad Municipality and the capital of Halland County. The city had a population of 92,797 in 2012, out of a municipal total of over 90,000. Halmstad is Sweden's 20th-largest city by population and located about midway between Gothenburg and Malmö. It is Europe's northernmost city with a lot of timber framing architecture.
Norrköping is a city in the province of Östergötland in eastern Sweden and the seat of Norrköping Municipality, Östergötland County, about 160 km southwest of the national capital Stockholm. The city has a population of 95,618 inhabitants in 2016, out of a municipal total of 130,050, making it Sweden's tenth largest city and eighth largest municipality.
Arvika is a locality and the seat of Arvika Municipality, Värmland County, Sweden with 14,244 inhabitants in 2010.
Hudiksvall is a city and the seat of Hudiksvall Municipality, in Hälsingland, Gävleborg County, Sweden with 15,015 inhabitants in 2010. Hudiksvall is also known as Glada Hudik, a term that originated in the 19th century as word spread of its friendly hospitality and its lively social life. The city is located along the E4, on the east coast of Sweden deep inside the bay Hudiksvallsfjärden, about 80 km south of Sundsvall and about 130 km north of Gävle. Hudiksvall is Sweden's 76th largest urban area and also the largest urban area in Hälsingland. Around Hudiksvall lies the communities of Delsbo, Iggesund, Enånger, Forsa and Näsviken.
Hofors is a locality and the seat of Hofors Municipality, Gävleborg County, Sweden with 6,681 inhabitants in 2010.
Timrå is a locality and the seat of Timrå Municipality in Västernorrland County, Sweden with 10,443 inhabitants in 2010.
Sundsvall 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 municipal area.
Härnösand is a locality and the seat of Härnösand Municipality in Västernorrland County, Sweden with 17,556 inhabitants in 2010. It is called "the gate to the High Coast" because of the world heritage landscape just a few miles north of Härnösand. Härnösand is the seat of the Diocese of Härnösand.
Brynäs IF is a professional Swedish ice hockey team from Gävle. The club currently plays in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), the top tier of ice hockey in Sweden. The club has played in the top-tier league since 1960.
Robert Thore Nystrom is a Canadian former professional ice hockey right winger. He played for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1972–86. He is best remembered as having scored the winning goal at the 7:11 mark of overtime to give the New York Islanders the 1980 Stanley Cup title. This signaled the first of four straight championships for the club. He was also among the last NHL players to not wear a helmet during a game.
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