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Blekinge
Map
The provinces of Sweden with Blekinge highlighted
Coat of Arms
Land Götaland
Main corresponding county Blekinge County
Indigenous dialect(s) {{{dialects}}}
Area 2,900 km²
Flower Oak and Mullein
Animal Stag beetleBeetle

About this sound Blekinge is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden (landskap), situated in the south of the country. It borders Småland, Skåne and the Baltic Sea.

The name "Blekinge" comes from the adjective bleke, which corresponds to the nautical term for "dead calm".

Contents

Administration

The historical provinces of Sweden serve no administrative function. Blekinge is, however, the only province, besides Gotland, which covers exactly the same area as the administrative county, which is Blekinge County.

Heraldry

Former coat of arms

During the sixteenth century, the province used a coat of arms depicting a crowned hill rising from the sea, and the symbol is known from several official Danish documents. The colours are uncertain, but expert Anders Thiset suggested a green hill on a red shield. This symbol was only used during the Danish administration and was replaced with the current coat of arms by the Swedish administration.

Blekinge was granted its current arms at the funeral of Charles X Gustav of Sweden in 1660, based on a seal from the 15th century. Symobolically the three crowns from the Coat of arms of Sweden had been placed on the trunk of the tree to mark the change in status of the former Danish province, that now belonged to Sweden. The arms is represented with a ducal coronet. Blazon: "Azure, an Oak Tree eradicated Or ensigned with three Crowns palewise of the same."

Geography

Blekinge has a scenic archipelago and is sometimes called the "Garden of Sweden".

History

Originally, Blekinge was a Swedish province. In the middle of the 11th Century, the Danish crown was given the province, and it remained a Danish province for almost 600 years, and together with the provinces of Skåne and Halland, it made up the eastern part of the Danish kingdom. Blekinge has once again been a Swedish province since 1658, following the Treaty of Roskilde.

During the Danish reign, the province was smaller than it is today. In the east, the Sölvesborg province was the seat and from Kristianopel in the east, Blekinge was controlled. The Lister Hundred belonged to Skåne. Notable castles during this period was Elleholm, Sölvesborg, Lyckeby and Avaskär.

Towns in Blekinge with Swedish city privileges were: Sölvesborg (1445) Karlshamn (chartered in 1664), Karlskrona (1680), Ronneby (1387) and Elleholm.

Karlskrona has for more than 300 years been the principal naval base in Sweden, and in 1998 it became a site of the UNESCO World heritage program.

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Subdivisions

Hundreds were the historical subdivision of a Swedish province. Blekinge's hundreds were: Bräkne Hundred, Eastern Hundred, Lister Hundred, Medelstad Hundred.

Language

In Blekinge two main dialects exist. The dividing line between them has historically been the Mörrumsån, near the historical site of Elleholm. West of this divide, the dialect was historically closely related to Danish and eastern Scanian, which is most likely an effect of the former administrative links to Skåne. East of this divide, the dialect has more in common with Småland. Today, this divide is not as significant as before, with the exception of Listerlandet with its special language. The eastern dialect of Danish can also be found on the Danish island of Bornholm.

The variety is called Blekingska but should rather be divided into Western Blekingska (or Västblekingska) and Eastern Blekingska (or Östblekingska).

External links

Coordinates: 56°20′N 15°20′E / 56.333°N 15.333°E / 56.333; 15.333


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Blekinge [1] is a province in the Götaland region in Sweden.

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