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Bohuslän
Map
The provinces of Sweden with Bohuslän highlighted
Coat of Arms
Land Götaland
Main corresponding county Västra Götaland County
Indigenous dialect(s) {{{dialects}}}
Area 4,400 km²
Flower Wild honeysuckle
Animal Harbour seal

About this sound Bohuslän is one of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden (landskap in Swedish), situated on the west coast of the country. It borders Dalsland and Västergötland as well as the Skagerrak arm of the North Sea and Østfold in Norway.

Contents

Administration

The provinces of Sweden serve no administrative function. Instead, that function is served by the counties of Sweden. For centuries, the administrative county for Bohuslän was the Gothenburg and Bohus County, and as its name implies it consisted of the entire Bohuslän province together with the city Gothenburg. In 1999, some Swedish counties were merged to reduce administration costs– and Gothenburg and Bohus County was merged into the much larger Västra Götaland County.

Heraldry

Bohuslän was granted its arms at the time of the funeral for Charles X Gustav of Sweden in 1660, it was identical to the arms of the Town of Kungälv. In 1962 the higher claim of the town was established and a variation for the arms of the county was introduced. The coat of arms is represented with a dukal coronet. Blazon: "Argent, a Castle embatteled Gules with one embatteled Tower of the same and two doors Or hinged Sable between a Sword point upwards and Lion rampant holding the Tower both Azure langued and armed Or."

Geography

Old fishing-village in Bohuslän

The geography is distinguished by the rocky coast, bordered an archipelago: there are about 3,000 islands and 5,000 islets (skerries). These make up the northern part of the Gothenburg archipelago, Sweden's second largest after Stockholm archipelago. The larger of the islands, which each have formed their own municipalities, are Tjörn and Orust. Both have a distinguished history and culture.

In old days, the seascape was renowned for its many reefs and sunken rocks which caused many shipwrecks.

However, the rocky terrain cannot be said to be mountainous: the highest point is Björnepiken at 224 meters.

Sweden's only fjord the Gullmaren, is situated in the province near the town Lysekil. It is 25 kilometers long, between 1-3 wide, with a depth of 118.5 meters at its deepest, with a unique marine life.

Of its 4,500 km² large area, only 177 are water (lakes or streams). Although lakes are frequent, they are rather small in size. The largest lakes are the Bullaren lakes (northern and southern), with an area of about 40 km².

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Population

As of December 31, 2007, the number of inhabitants was 282,949, giving a population density of 64,3 inhabitants/square kilometer.

Islands of Bohuslän

  • Björkö
  • Bohus Malmön
  • Brattön
  • Dyngö
  • Dyrön
  • Fotö
  • Grötö
  • Gullholmen
  • Hamburgö
  • Hisingen (partly)
  • Härmanö
  • Malmön

Larger settlements in Bohuslän

Bohuslän's formerly chartered cities are:

They are now non-administrative urban areas

In addition there are several other notable settlements:

History

Three men performing a ritual

During the Migration Period and the Viking Age, the area was part of Viken, and was actually known as two entities: Ranrike in the north and Elfsyssel in the south. It has been claimed that King Harald Fairhair made it part of the unified Norway in about 872, but contemporary sources give rise to doubt that Harald actually ever held the Viken area properly. The earliest proof of Båhus lands being in Norway's hands is from 11th century.

As long as Norway was a kingdom of its own, the province prospered, and Båhus castle was one of the key fortresses of the kingdom. When Norway was united with Denmark, the province began its decline in wealth as the area was under frequent attack from Swedish forces as part of the larger border skirmishes. The Norwegian fortress, Båhus, was built to protect this territory. Being a borderzone towards the Swedish kingdom, and to a lesser extent against Danish lands in Halland, the Båhus region was disproportionately filled by soldier families.

Båhuslen belonged to Norway until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The fortress of Carlsten was built in Marstrand during the 17th century. It was for a period also a free port (porto franco), with a free religious practice and, as such, home to the only synagogue in Sweden at the time.

The fishing of herring increased in the 18th century, and the province flourished during a major herring period around 1747–1809. Many small fishing communities grew up around the coast. Basically all coastal towns were affected.

There were actually wood covered parts in the terrain before the large scale fishing of herring had begun. The wood was once the largest export product and main source of income in Bohuslän. But with increasing fishing, the woods were needed as construction material for houses and boats, and the rocky terrain of today was gradually shaped during the 19th century.

Culture

Urhultsberget in Lysekil Municipality.

In Bohuslän a variety of the Götaland dialect of Swedish is spoken. The province was a part of Norway until the 17th century and traces of Norwegian remain in the dialect. "Bohuslän", literally means the "Fief of Bohus", referring to Bohus Fortress and Län.

The rock carvings at Tanum made 2,500 to 3,000 years ago have been entered as a site in the UNESCO World heritage program. Rock carvings can be found scattered throughout Bohuslän. The carvings portray the life of an agricultural society with images of ships, circular objects, soles, animals, shallow bowls, and fertility figures (E.g. phalluses).

Hundreds

Hundreds of Sweden were sub-divisions of the Swedish provinces until early 20th century. Bohuslän's hundreds were:

Notable people from Bohuslän

People from Bohuslän are known as bohuslänningar.

References

External links

Coordinates: 58°14′53″N 11°53′13″E / 58.248°N 11.887°E / 58.248; 11.887



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

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

  • Rock carvings in Tanumshede - Bronze age carvings that are on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
  • Nordens ark [2] - Sanctuary for endangered animals situated 20 km from Kungshamn.
  • Havets hus [3] in Lysekil.
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