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INTRODUCING SWEDEN
Local Name: Sverige
Being the largest of the Scandinavian countries, Sweden has alot to offer, of both cultural and outdoor activities. Visit the cities and explore the country's glorious past or the life in a cosmopolitan and modern society. If you need rest from the hectic city life, just leave for the countryside, and vast forests, 90,000 lakes, mountains and the long diverse coastline await you.

Though on the outskirts of Europe, Sweden was never a cultural outpost. The reigning royalty often invited foreign artists to their courts and also stimulated the development of local artists. Furthermore the Swedish developed their own traditions in design, painting and architecture. Gothenburg city hall was a widely followed example of traditionalistic architecture.

The four largest cities Stockholm, Norrköping/Linköping Twin Cities, Gothenburg, and Malmö display different characteristics. Stockholm, the capital, is beautiful, hi-tech oriented and rich in historical heritage.

Sweden's great and vastly unspoiled nature is very diverse and offers you new and unexpected beautiful views every time you visit it. The south has warm and sandy beaches, an open rural landscape with beautiful manors and patches of woods. In the central part, the coast is dominated by thousands of small islands, the skerries, consisting of more or less bare rocks carved and polished by the latest glaciation. The landscape becomes more and more dominated by the woods, spotted with many lakes and smaller agricultural areas. The further to the north you move, the more the woods take over. Skerries give you the impression of travelling through a chain of lakes all the way to the Finnish border, as you move along the coast. The rivers become greater, the forests darker, the people fewer in the north. Close to the Norwegian border, the mountains get higher and rougher. Lappland in the northwest, north of the polar circle, lets you experience the emptiness of polar tundra in alpine environment.

Sweden became rich and powerful thanks to its great natural resources, the iron ore mines in the far north and in the central part, the forestry-based industry and cheap electricity from water power. Today, the country is in the frontline of IT development and infrastructure.

Across our planet Swedes have made an incredible impact; from ABBA to ATMs, from Ingrid to Ingmar and from Alfred Nobel's dynamite to Ingvar Kamprad's Ikea stores, Swedish ingenuity is woven into our daily life!