"Unity of Our Flag" statue, locally known as "The dance around the golden calf", Norrköping
Norrköping is located on the Swedish east coast, some 160 km to the south of Stockholm. Population: Approx 125,000.
Norrköping received its city privileges in 1384, by king Albrekt of Mecklenburg, although the area has been inhabited for much longer. Throughout its history, the city has been characterised by trade, due to its favourable location at the end of the bay Bråviken, and manufacturing. The latter industry was founded in the 17th century by Wallon immigrants, most notably by industrialist Louis de Geer, who still today is considered to be one of the city's most important persons - ever. The manufacturing industry remains important, especially production of paper of pulp. Nevertheless, Norrköping has been hit several times by massive shutdowns, particularly in the seventies, when the Swedish textile industry was almost wiped out, and in the nineties, when then largest private employer Ericsson cancelled its telecom component production. Today, Norrköping has changed more towards the service industry and smaller high-tech companies, fuelled by the installation of a branch of the Linköping University in the city centre.
Major sights in Norrköping includes "Gamla Industrilandskapet", where industrial facilities from the 19th century have been refurbished into a university and business campus, "Kolmårdens djurpark", one of Europe's largest zoos, and the bronze age rock carvings at Himmelstalund. Norrköping is also a good base for outdoor activities in a wide variety of settings, ranging from the spectacular forest of Kolmården, via the agrarian fields of Vikbolandet, to the archipelago of S:t Anna and Gryt. Outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, rock climbing and bicycling.
Norrköping is the cultural hub of the Östergötland province. The Norrköping Philharmonic Orchestra has toured throughout the world, and the Östgötateatern theatre is one of the most important Swedish stages outside of the three largest cities. There are also a multitude of smaller venues and amateur cultural societies.
Recurring events in Norrköping includes: Walpurgis mass bonfires on April 30, National Day celebration on June 6, Night of Culture, the last weekend of September, the Bel Canto S:t Lucia concert on December 13 and the "City of Light" walks around Christmas.