Malmö [ˈmàlmø] ( listen) is the largest of the cities in the province of Scania (Skåne) in southern Sweden; and the third largest of the cities in Sweden. Together with the smaller town of Arlöv in the north and the incorporated town of Limhamn in the south, Malmö constitutes a conurbation ("Malmö urban area") with a population of 250,000 inhabitants. The municipality of Malmö has a population of 270,000, and refers to itself as Malmö stad (literally: "the City of Malmö").
Malmö is the principal town in the metropolitan area of South-Western Scania with some 500,000 inhabitants. Malmö–Lund constitutes, together with the vastly greater Metropolitan Copenhagen in Denmark, the center of the Oresund Region that has a total population of 3,500,000 inhabitants.
Malmö was one of the earliest and most industrialized towns of Scandinavia but is now struggling with unemployment and the adaption to post-industrialism. For different reasons — its geographical location being one — Malmö has in the last decades also become Sweden's most multi-ethnic city with 24% of the population born abroad, more than a third being first or second generation immigrants, and the proportion of Muslims estimated to 16%.
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Table of contents
Main article: History of Malmö
In the ensuing century, Malmö and Copenhagen would rise in economic importance, and until this day this pattern has persisted. Despite Lund (and to lesser degree Roskilde) being culturally of much greater importance, Malmö and Copenhagen have been centers for industrious and economic success. The disunity between the burghers of Lund and Malmö has remained a fundamental characteristic, the former relying on tradition the latter on modernity and adaption. Malmö was, for instance, a leading hanseatic town during the decades of the Hansa's dominance in the region, and leading the process of Protestant Reformation in Denmark of the 1530s. Also after the secession to Sweden, in 1658, Malmö has kept this role.
The first fortification was erected at the site of Skeppsbron and Malmö Central Station, first hinted at in unfriendly diplomatic correspondence between the king and the archbishop in March 1256, but Malmö's growth gave in 1434 reason to the erection of a new citadel at the beach south of the town. The new fortress, Malmöhus, was completed in the mid-16th century and continued to play an essential role after the secession to Sweden — now as a part of the defense system against the Danes. During 1828–1914 the building was re-used as a prison, and since the 1930s it's housed Malmö museum.
Main article: Politics of Malmö
Main article: Geography of Malmö
Malmö is part of the transnational Oresund Region and since 2000 the Oresund Bridge crosses the Oresund strait to Copenhagen. The bridge was inaugurated July 1, 2000, and measures 8 kilometres, with pylons reaching 204.5 metres vertically. The bridge has put in question the existence of ferries to Copenhagen, that since Malmö's foundation in the 12th century has been a matter of course.
Commuter trains pass the bridge every 20 minutes connecting Malmö, Copenhagen, and the Copenhagen Metro (inaugurated on Oct 19, 2002). Also some of the Intercity trains to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo, and Hamburg pass the bridge. All train stops at the Copenhagen Airport.
Malmö, as the southern hub of the Swedish railway system and the western hub of the Scanian commuter train system, has excellent train connections. A night train line to Berlin, by ferry over the Baltic, has been in traffic since 1909.
In March of 2005, digging began on a new railroad connection called Citytunneln (The City Tunnel). The tunnel will run from under Malmö Central to Hyllievång (Hyllie Meadow), where it will emerge to connect with the Oresund Bridge, effectively changing Malmö Central from an end station to a through station. A new stop will also be built at Triangeln (The Triangle), an important square in the city surrouned by shopping, housing, and cultural attractions. At the emergence of the tunnel in Hylievång, a new shopping centre, sports hall, and hotel are to be built.
The highway network was further improved in connection with the opening of the Oresund Bridge. European route E47 (formerly E6) follows the Swedish and Norwegian west coast from Malmö–Helsingborg to Kirkenes at Barents Sea. The European route to Jönköping–Stockholm (formerly E4) starts at Helsingborg. Main roads in direction of Växjö–Kalmar, Kristianstad–Karlskrona, Ystad, and Trelleborg start as freeways.
Malmö is sometimes referred to as the city of parks ("parkernas stad"), the largest two being Pildammsparken and Kungsparken, the long beaches, and a longtime tradition of decorating the city with plants and flowers of the season.
Biking is a popular means of transport, since Malmö is a city virtually without altitude differences and since the snow season is usually brief. A continuous network of bike roads, in intersections often with right of precedence over for cars, has in recent decades been a priority beside the rather extensive public transport system. The trolley cars were however abolished in 1973.
A Swedish deregulation of taxicabs in the 1990's turned out particularly advantageous for Malmö. The supply of cabs is good, and most operate to low fixed fares, usually arriving within three–four minutes if requested by phone, which is the most convenient. For tourists, however, it's advisable to compare prices.
Main article: Economy of Malmö
The economy of Malmö was traditionally based on shipbuilding and construction related industries, such as concrete factories. The region's leading university, with associated hi-tech and pharmaceutical industry, is located in nearby Lund. As a result, Malmö had a troubled economic situation following the mid-1970s. However, during the last few years there has been a revival. Contributing factors have been the economic integration brought about by the bridge, the university founded in 1998, and effects of integration into the European Union.
According to Dansk Folkeparti and domestic talk radio personalities, Malmö's 1970s-build low-status outer neighbourhoods, typically exemplified by Rosengård ("Rose Garden"), are ghettos boiling with gangs and riots. Fox News in 2004 exemplified with Malmö to demonstrate the danger of Muslim immigration to Europe. The municipality of Malmö and the state of Sweden invest proportionally large sums on schools and other forms of social welfare in these quite segregated neighbourhoods.
Malmö has a variety of both public and private schools. One of the most notable private schools is Bladins, with an impeccable reputation and huge waiting lists. Malmö Borgarskola is the largest high school in the city, also holding the infamous IB school, one of the best in the World, rivaling that of London, Paris and New York.
Main article: University College of Malmö
Malmö has the country's eighth largest teaching site (Malmö Högskola) established in 1998, with 1,300 employees and 21,000 students (as of 2003). Also the Lund University (established in 1666) has some education located to Malmö.
The Maritime University is one of the best universities of it's kind, had holds a variety of students from all over the world..
Main article: Heraldry of Skåne
The city arms were granted in 1437 by King Eric of Pomerania. The arms of Pomerania is argent with a griffin gules, which gave the griffin's head to Malmö. The coat of arms for the city has also served as the basis for the arms of the province of Scania and Skåne County, with differentiation in colors. Blazon: "Argent, a Griffin's head erased Gules, crowned Or".
Sites of interest
The city is gaining in popularity as a tourist destination. It retains much historical charm with an "old town" section filled with small shops. Malmö also offers a late-medieval castle, housing a small city museum and a fairly large art gallery.
Nightlife and music scene are mainly centered around two places: Lilla Torg ("Little Square") is encircled by trendy pubs and upmarket night clubs, while the district of Möllevången ("the Mill Meadow") houses hang-outs for artists and good opportunities for live music.
In August each year a festival, Malmöfestivalen, fills the streets in the city centre.
Places of note in or near Malmö
The Old Cemetery (Gamla Kyrkogården), established in 1819 and today right in the city center, appalled William S. Burroughs when he visited Malmö briefly in the 1950s. In The Naked Lunch he notes that the city was dreadful since he could not find any open bar or cinema; thus there was nothing to do except staying in the hotel room, waiting for the ferry back to Copenhagen.
People of note connected with Malmö
- August Palm (1849–1922), politician
- Felix von Luckner (1881–1966), sailor
- Frans Suell (1744–1818), businessman
- Lukas Moodysson (1969–), director
- Caspar Bartholin (1585–1629), medical scholar
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (1981–), footballer
- Anita Ekberg (1931–), model and actress