sweden

Sweden's History

Cave paintings testify to mans arrival in Sweden as early as 12,000BC. In Roman times the Nordic tribes in Sweden were already accomplished seafarers bursting forth in the Viking Age from the 8th Century. Adventurous Vikings reached the Mediterranean, founded Kiev, explored the Black Sea and even reached Baghdad! Sweden accepted Christianity by 1050 and the Viking Age came to a close. Sweden was united with Denmark and Norway in the Kalmar Union from 1397-1523, but withdrew, entering into a golden age of its own achieving a great empire, controlling the Baltic region, peaking under King Charles X. From the 18th Century Swedish power retreated until the Napoleonic War when they chose to oppose Napoleon, gaining the Norwegian throne as a prize in 1814. Sweden remained strictly neutral in WWI, WWII and the Cold War. In 1985 Sweden joined the European Union but has declined to joined the Eurozone.

Our Pick

Sweden

Sweden's Ice Hotel has to be experienced to be believed. This amazing resort in Lappland is full of surprises and promises to be an experience you will always remember. European Country more info

Right Now

Sweden’s commitment to free enterprise with a powerful role for Government, characterised by high taxes and elaborate social services, presented a third way throughout the Cold War. Sweden still follows this model and its social conscience now extends to the environment, the nation committed to become Carbon-neutral by 2020. However the image of Sweden as a truly independent 'Third Way' has been scattered by WikiLeaks revealations and Sweden's willingness to be used in the silencing of Julian Assange. However Sweden is one of the few EU members NOT in a recession. The country has a reputation for being expensive for tourists, but is definately worth seeing, even just for the cleanness!

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