Örnsköldsvik Nickname(s): Ö-vik, Foppaland Coordinates: Coordinates: Country Sweden Province Ångermanland County Västernorrland County Municipality Örnsköldsvik Municipality Area – Total 23.97 km2 (9.3 sq mi) Population (2005-12-31) – Total 28,617 – Density 1,194/km2 (3,092.4/sq mi) Time zone CET (UTC+1) – Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Its natural harbour and archipelago is in the Gulf of Bothnia and the northern boundaries of the High Coast area. It is well known as an exporter of paper products and heavy machinery goods. It has a strong environment record and is the "testbed" for ethanol powered cars.
The name comes from Governor Per Abraham Örnsköld (1762–1769) and literally translated means Eagle-shield's-bay (Örn-skölds-vik).
Traces of human activity in the area date back to the Nordic Bronze Age, and there's a reconstructed iron age village called Gene fornby, which is a popular tourist attraction, just outside of town. Örnsköldsvik itself is however a relatively young city, it was founded as a market town (a köping) in 1842 and became a city in 1894.
The town of Örnsköldsvik is the centre of Örnsköldsviks Kommun or Örnsköldsvik Municipality. The Municipality has a much larger population than the town itself, at over 55,000 inhabitants, as the municipality is vast with very large forest areas, and consists of several rural communities in the countryside.
Historically, the most important economic activity was trade and heavy industry. In the surrounding villages (now incorporated into the city itself) two major industrial ventures arose: Modo, a pulp, paper, logging enterprise and Hägglunds a heavy industrial company. Even today the successors to these two companies are of huge importance for the city. M-real (ex-Modo) is running one of Europe's largest pulp mills in the village of Husum, 30 km north of Örnsköldsvik City, Domsjö Fabriker (another ex-Modo mill) is running a specialty cellulose in Örnsköldsvik, while Hägglunds is split into several companies, including BAE Systems Hägglunds, now a subsidiary of BAE Systems. Other notable companies based in Örnsköldsvik include Svensk Etanolkemi, a producer of ethanol products, and Fjällräven, a manufacturer of outdoor equipment and clothing.
Main road transportation is provided by the European route E4. The Örnsköldsvik Airport provides daily flights to and from the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport courtesy of Höga Kusten Flyg, and also charter flights to Turkey courtesy of Pegasus Airlines.
The terminal building was recently upgraded to allow for some international services. The runway was extended to allow service for larger aircraft.
Railway transportation is provided by the recently opened main line Botniabanan.
Botniabanan is currently open on only a portion of its total stretch, but will in the future connect Örnsköldsvik and nearby Umeå with passenger services to Stockholm in around 4 hours of travel time.
There is also a harbor, where cargo ships load and unload timber and other merchandise. Prior to joining the European Union, Örnsköldsvik had a direct ferry connection to Vaasa, Finland. This ceased operation after the entry in to the European Union along with the abolishment of tax-free trade within the member states. The harbor now rarely sees passenger traffic on any larger scale.
Being situated on the European route E4, the city is well connected with bus lines. A coastal line from Haparanda in the north to Stockholm makes regular stops at the bus depot in Örnsköldsvik. A cross-country route to Östersund is starts and terminates at the Örnsköldsviks bus depot.
Recreation and sports
Due to the hilly surroundings, hiking and exploring the scenery of the High Coast is popular in the area. In the wintertime skiing and ice hockey are both popular. Both cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and also ski jumping are practiced in the downtown area. In international sports, the town is perhaps best known for having hosted the inaugural Winter Paralympic Games, in 1976. The 2008 European Curling Championships also took place there.
Since Örnsköldsvik is a coastal town, there are also beaches near town, as well as campsites. There's also an indoor water park called Paradisbadet, with one of the longest water slides in Europe.
The main spectator sport in town is ice hockey, with the local team MODO Hockey in Elitserien, the main league for ice hockey in Sweden. IF Friska Viljor has been successful in ski jumping. The local football teams aren't quite as successful, but still popular. On the men's side especially the teams Friska Viljor FC from central Örnsköldsvik and Anundsjö IF from Bredbyn outside of town, and women's Själevads IK. A couple floorball teams from town have also had some success.
A new golf course, Veckefjärdens Golf Club, to the south of the centre is owned by local celebrity ice hockey player Peter Forsberg.
The islands surrounding the coastal area of Örnsköldsvik are big tourist attractions which can be reached by ferry boats.
Örnsköldsvik is the birthplace of many world-famous ice hockey players, including Peter Forsberg, Markus Näslund, Niklas Sundström, Victor Hedman and the twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The Sedin twins are currently top players for the Vancouver Canucks. Many stars from hockey's previous generation, including Anders Hedberg, Thomas Gradin, and Anders Kallur were also either Örnsköldsvik natives (Hedberg) and/or played in the town for the Modo Hockey club.
Hans Hedberg, sculptor known for his ceramic fruit.
Märta Norberg, cross country skier in the end of the 1940s and beginning of 1950s.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Örnsköldsvik is twinned with:
Örnsköldsvik's sister cities are:
- ^ a b c "Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2000 och 2005" (in Swedish) (xls). Statistics Sweden. http://www.scb.se/statistik/MI/MI0810/2005A01B/T%c3%a4torternami0810tab1.xls. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
- ^ Domsjö website
- Örnsköldsvik - Official site
- (English) Örnsköldsvik Tourist Information
- (Swedish) Mid-Sweden University College at Örnsköldsvik
- (English) Umeå University Campus Örnsköldsvik
- (English) Örnsköldsvik Airport
- (Swedish) article Örnsköldsvik from Nordisk Familjebok (1922).
Örnsköldsvik is one of 133 places with the historical city status in Sweden. Winter Paralympic Games host cities Localities in Örnsköldsvik Municipality, Västernorrland County, Sweden Localities: Municipalities Municipal seats
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