Last updated
Vasteras collage.jpg
Clockwise from top left: Skrapan, Västerås City Hall, half-timbered buildings alongside Svartån river, Västerås Cathedral and Ottarkontoret
Vasteras vapen.svg
Coat of arms
Mälarstaden (The City of Mälaren), Gurkstaden (The Cucumber City)
Sweden Vastmanland location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Sweden location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates: 59°36′58″N16°33′10″E / 59.61611°N 16.55278°E / 59.61611; 16.55278 Coordinates: 59°36′58″N16°33′10″E / 59.61611°N 16.55278°E / 59.61611; 16.55278
Country Sweden
Province Västmanland
County Västmanland County
Municipality Västerås Municipality
  City52.94 km2 (20.44 sq mi)
962.78 km2 (371.73 sq mi)
17 m (56 ft)
 (150 000) [1] [2]
  City151 000
  Density2,094/km2 (5,420/sq mi)
145,218 (Västerås Municipality)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
721 00 728 20
Area code(s) (+46) 021
Climate Dfb
Website www.vasteras.se

Västerås ( /ˌvɛstərˈs/ VEST-ər-OHSS, US also /-ˈɔːs/ -AWSS, [3] [4] [5] [6] Swedish:  [vɛstɛr¹oːs] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a city in central Sweden on the shore of Lake Mälaren in the province of Västmanland, 100 kilometres (62 miles) west of Stockholm. The city had a population of 119,372 in 2016, [7] out of the municipal total of 150,000 (2017). [8] Västerås is the seat of Västerås Municipality, the capital of Västmanland County and an episcopal see.

American English Set of dialects of the English language spoken in the United States

American English, sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. American English is globally considered to be one of the most influential dialects in the world; more so than any other dialect of English.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a 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 Strait. 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. The capital city is Stockholm. Sweden has a total population of 10.3 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) and the highest urban concentration is in the central and southern half of the country.



Vasteras circa 1700, in Suecia antiqua et hodierna. Suecia 2-036 ; Vasteras.jpg
Västerås circa 1700, in Suecia antiqua et hodierna .
Gustav I of Sweden in Vasteras, 1527. Watercolor reproduction from 1722. Gustav Vasa triumphs 3.jpg
Gustav I of Sweden in Västerås, 1527. Watercolor reproduction from 1722.

Västerås is one of the oldest cities in Sweden and Northern Europe. The name originates from Västra Aros (West Aros), which refers to the river mouth of Svartån. The area has been populated since the Nordic Viking Age, before 1000 AD. In the beginning of the 11th century it was the second largest city in Sweden, and by the 12th century had become the seat of the bishop. Anundshög is located just outside the City of Västerås. Anundshög is Sweden's largest burial mound. "Hög" is derived from the Old Norse word haugr meaning mound or barrow. It was built about 500 AD and is over 74 yards (68 m) wide and is almost 10 yd (9.1 m) high.

Svartån river in Sweden

Svartån in Västmanland County, Sweden is 91 kilometers long. It passes through the towns of Skultuna and Västerås and has its outlet in Mälaren. The name Västerås derives from the Sueco-Latin term Västra Aros meaning "western outlet."

Viking Age Period of European history from the 8th to the 11th century dealing with the Scandinavian expansion

The Viking Age is a period in the history of the Scandinavians, during which they expanded and built settlements throughout Europe and beyond after the main European Migration Period. As such the Viking Age applies not only to their homeland of Scandinavia, but to any place significantly settled by Scandinavians during the period.

Anundshög Tumulus in Västmanland, Sweden

Anundshög is a tumulus near Västerås in Västmanland, the largest in Sweden. It has a diameter of 60 metres (200 ft) and is about 9 metres (30 ft) high.

In the ensuing centuries, a cathedral and a monastery were built; the Gothic cathedral, rebuilt by Birger Jarl on an earlier site, and consecrated in 1271, was restored in the 19th century. [9] The first City Arms date from the end of the 13th century. A castle commands the town from an eminence; it was captured by King Gustav I and rebuilt by him, and Eric XIV was confined there from 1573 to 1575. [9] Gustav also called together the riksdag in Västerås. During the riksdag assembly, the decision was made to convert Sweden into a Protestant state and to remove the power of the Catholic Church. Rudbeckianska gymnasiet , the oldest gymnasium (secondary school) in Sweden, was built in Västerås by Johannes Rudbeckius in 1623. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the growing of cucumber became popular, and Västerås received the nickname Gurkstaden (the Cucumber City), which it still retains today.

Birger Jarl Swedish statesman

Birger Jarl, or Birger Magnusson, was a Swedish statesman, Jarl of Sweden and a member of the House of Bjelbo, who played a pivotal role in the consolidation of Sweden. Birger also led the Second Swedish Crusade, which established Swedish rule in Finland. Additionally, he is traditionally attributed to have founded the Swedish capital, Stockholm, around 1250. Birger used the Latin title of Dux Sweorum which in English equals Duke of Sweden, and the design of his coronet combined those used by continental European and English dukes.

Gustav I of Sweden 16th century king of Sweden

Gustav I, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known as Gustav Vasa, was King of Sweden from 1523 until his death in 1560, previously self-recognised Protector of the Realm (Riksföreståndare) from 1521, during the ongoing Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Initially of low standing, Gustav rose to lead the rebel movement following the Stockholm Bloodbath, where his father was executed. Gustav's election as King on 6 June 1523 and his triumphant entry into Stockholm eleven days later marked Sweden's final secession from the Kalmar Union.

Eric XIV of Sweden 16th-century Swedish king

Eric XIV was King of Sweden from 1560 until he was deposed in 1568. Eric XIV was the eldest son of Gustav I (1496–1560) and Catherine of Saxe-Lauenburg (1513–35). He was also ruler of Estonia, after its conquest by Sweden in 1561.


Oster malarstrand residential area in Vasteras harbour. Ostermalarstand Vasteras.jpg
Öster mälarstrand residential area in Västerås harbour.

Västerås is predominantly known as an industrial city, but also a retailing and logistics city. The city wants to distinguish itself as Västerås – Mälarstaden, meaning "Västerås—the city by Lake Mälaren", in order to attract tourists and new inhabitants, as well as students to the local university college, Mälardalen University (approximately 16,000 enrolled students in Västerås and in the nearby Eskilstuna). To this effect, the city has started using a designed logo as branding in some official contexts, partially replacing the coat of arms, as well as rebuilding several old harbor areas to make them more attractive to live in. Västerås has the largest lakeside commercial and recreational port in Scandinavia on Lake Mälaren. The city also has a skyscraper colloquially nicknamed "Skrapan" (English: The Scraper) which has Sweden's highest-located cocktail bar, called Sky Bar, on the 24th floor of the building. Until 2017, Västerås hosted Power Big Meet, an annual event for owners and enthusiasts of classic American cars. The event moved to Lidköping in 2017, with arrangers citing having outgrown the available facilities in Västerås. [10] Long-time Power Big meet collaborator Klas Brink instead arranged the competing Västerås Summer Meet at the same location as Power Big Meet had been arranged for years. [11]

Mälaren lake in Sweden

Mälaren, historically referred to as Lake Malar in English, is the third-largest freshwater lake in Sweden. Its area is 1,140 km² and its greatest depth is 64 m. Mälaren spans 120 kilometers from east to west. The lake drains, from south-west to north-east, into the Baltic Sea through its natural outlets Norrström and Söderström and through the artificial Södertälje Canal and Hammarbyleden waterway. The easternmost bay of Mälaren, in central Stockholm, is called Riddarfjärden. The lake is located in Svealand and bounded by the provinces of Uppland, Södermanland, Närke, and Västmanland. The two largest islands in Mälaren are Selaön (91 km²) and Svartsjölandet (79 km²).

In a number of countries, a university college is a college institution that provides tertiary education but does not have full or independent university status. A university college is often part of a larger university. The precise usage varies from country to country.

Eskilstuna Place in Stockholm, Sweden

Eskilstuna is a city and the seat of Eskilstuna Municipality, Södermanland County, Sweden. The city of Eskilstuna had 67,359 inhabitants in 2015, with a total municipal population of 100,092 inhabitants in Eskilstuna municipality (2014). Eskilstuna has a large Sweden Finn population. The town is located on the River Eskilstunaån, which connects Lake Hjälmaren and Lake Mälaren.


According to the Köppen climate classification, Västerås experiences a humid continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. Summers tend to be quite unpredictable with sunny spells but with a risk of sudden showers. The sunniest weather usually occurs when high-pressure systems are blocking the low-pressure systems that usually move in from the Atlantic Ocean. Daytime temperatures in July mostly hover around 22 °C (72 °F), but may sometimes exceed 25 °C (77 °F) and occasionally even 30 °C (86 °F). Winters are usually cold with a snow cover that lasts for several months. Some winters can be mild with longer spells without snow on the ground. The weather differs a lot whether the air masses are coming from the Atlantic Ocean or from the Eurasian continent. In the first case, temperatures over 5 °C (41 °F) might be expected. In the second case, the temperature may not rise above −15 °C (5 °F) in the middle of the day. Lake Mälaren is usually frozen from December until the end of March.

Köppen climate classification climate classification system

The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by the German-Russian climatologist Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936. Later, the climatologist Rudolf Geiger introduced some changes to the classification system, which is thus sometimes called the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system.

Humid continental climate Category in the Köppen climate classification system

A humid continental climate is a climatic region defined by Russo-German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1900, typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters. Precipitation is usually distributed throughout the year. The definition of this climate regarding temperature is as follows: the mean temperature of the coldest month must be below −3 °C (26.6 °F) and there must be at least four months whose mean temperatures are at or above 10 °C (50 °F). In addition, the location in question must not be semi-arid or arid. The Dfb, Dwb and Dsb subtypes are also known as hemiboreal.

Aerial photo of a wintry Vasteras. 3000' ovanfor Vasteras.jpg
Aerial photo of a wintry Västerås.

The highest official temperature reading of 36.0 °C (96.8 °F) was recorded on July 9, 1966. The lowest temperature of −36.5 °C (−33.7 °F) was recorded on January 24, 1875. [12]

Climate data for Västerås (2003–2018 averages & extremes since 1901)
Record high °C (°F)10.2
Mean maximum °C (°F)6.1
Average high °C (°F)−0.3
Daily mean °C (°F)−2.8
Average low °C (°F)−5.2
Mean minimum °C (°F)−15.8
Record low °C (°F)−31.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)45.2
Source: SMHI Open Data [13] [14]




The Turbine House Turbinhuset September 2014 04.jpg
The Turbine House

In 1891, the Turbine House, a small hydroelectric dam was built on Svartån, in central Västerås. This early electrification encouraged ASEA, a large electricity equipment manufacturer, to concentrate its operations in Västerås, shifting focus away from Arboga. After the 1988 merger with the power systems company Brown, Boveri & Cie, ASEA became ABB Group. As a result, Västerås is home to its ABB AB Swedish subsidiary headquarters. ABB in Västerås produces e.g. robots and drive systems for the industry, high-voltage direct current transmission and power grids.

ASEA headquarters Asea hq.jpg
ASEA headquarters

Since the Westinghouse takeover of ABB's nuclear business it is owned by Westinghouse Electric Company. It is situated mainly in Finnslätten, an industrial area in the northern part of Västerås. Westinghouse Sweden produces nuclear fuel and offers nuclear services for Boiling Water Reactors and Pressurized water reactors. As of 2014, Westinghouse Sweden had more than 1000 employees. [15] The plant has provided fuel for Ukraine since 2005. On 11 April 2014, after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the contract with Energoatom for the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant was extended through 2020. [16]

Mälarenergi AB is a city-owned district heating and electric power provider for Västerås and surrounding area. Mälarenergi owns and operates a number of plants of which the biggest one is the heat and power plant in Västerås. It is Sweden's largest combined heat and power plant, and the latest unit (number 6) uses waste as fuel. Other major industries include Bombardier Transportation, which is active in railway business with production of propulsion systems for trains with worldwide customers, GE Power Sweden, Enics and Quintus Technologies AB (high pressure metal working and material densification equipment for the manufacturing industry).

Retailing and trade

One of the historical reasons that made Västerås a city is its trading-friendly location by the river Svartån and lake Mälaren. The city remains one of the main logistical centers in Sweden due to its central location in the densely populated region Mälardalen and favourable infrastructure connections with railways, waterways and highways. Amongst others, ICA AB has one of its main distribution centres located in Västerås. Västerås is the birthplace of multinational clothing retailer H&M. Their first store was opened in the town centre in 1947. [17] Erikslund Shopping Center, on the outskirts of Västerås, was Sweden's biggest mall until Mall of Scandinavia opened in 2015, and the retail park is the third biggest in sales after Kungens Kurva and Barkarby. [18] [19]


ABB Arena Syd, the largest permanent indoor arena for bandy in Sweden ABB Arena Syd.jpg
ABB Arena Syd, the largest permanent indoor arena for bandy in Sweden
Vasteras SK, Swedish champions again in 2015 Sandvikens AIK vs Vasteras SK 2015-03-14 44.jpg
Västerås SK, Swedish champions again in 2015

Notable natives


See also

Related Research Articles

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  1. 1 2 "Localities 2010, area, population and density in localities 2005 and 2010 and change in area and population". Statistics Sweden. 29 May 2012. Archived from the original on 17 December 2012.
  2. "Population in the country, counties and municipalities by sex and age 31/12/2013". Statistics Sweden. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original on 17 December 2012.
  3. "Västerås". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  4. "Västerås". Collins English Dictionary . HarperCollins . Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  5. "Västerås" (US) and "Västerås". Oxford Dictionaries . Oxford University Press . Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  6. "Västerås". Merriam-Webster Dictionary . Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  7. "Population in localities increased by 120 000". Statistiska Centralbyrån. Archived from the original on 2017-11-15. Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  8. http://www.statistikdatabasen.scb.se/pxweb/sv/ssd/START__BE__BE0101__BE0101A/FolkmangdTatort/table/tableViewLayout1/?rxid=65599dff-176c-4ced-a249-2eeeb177f73c
  9. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Vesterås". Encyclopædia Britannica . 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 1056.
  10. https://www.vlt.se/artikel/bekraftat-power-big-meet-flyttar-fran-vasteras-johannisberg-ar-for-litet
  11. https://www.vlt.se/artikel/klart-sa-ska-nya-power-meet-heta
  12. "Västmanlands klimat". SMHI. Archived from the original on November 15, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  13. "SMHI Open Data Precipitation for Västerås" (in Swedish). Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute . Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  14. "SMHI Open Data Max Min Temperatures for Västerås" (in Swedish). Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute . Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  15. "Westinghouse Electric Sweden". Company website. Westinghouse. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  16. "More Westinghouse fuel for Ukraine". website. World Nuclear News. 11 April 2014. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
  17. "H&M: Our-History". Archived from the original on 2013-03-19.
  18. "Ikano och Ikea: 136 000 kvm handel vid Globen" (in Swedish). Fastighetsvärlden. 2013-01-23. Archived from the original on 23 December 2014. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  19. "Erikslund behåller sin tredje plats" (in Swedish). Vestmanlands Läns Tidning. 2014-12-07. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.

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