Malmö has a long history well integrated with modern life and immigration has made Malmö a multicultural centre. Malmö is famous for its parks, make sure you have a stroll in at least some of them, before you leave. You will find out it was very worthwhile.. The Western Harbour is a new - and very chic - district of Malmö, situated by the sea, and build on the former port and industrial land.. Stortorget - Lilla Torg - Gustav Adolf Torg and Möllevångstorget. Malmö Arena is the latest addition to northern Europe’s growing number of modern, multi-purpose concert and event venues...Malmö Arena is the latest addition to northern Europe’s growing number of modern, multi-purpose Hockey and event venues...Several interesting old buildings have been preserved in the very centre of Malmö...

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Malmö history

Welcome to a short introduction of the history of Malmö. Malmö has a long ancient history, a history that lives with us to this day. It's important to know that Malmö belonged to Denmark until 1658. We invite you to a little tour through time!

The Birth

Malmö's first inhabitants lived a short time at Segebro, where the remainings from an 11 000 year old Stone Age settlement was found. It was a group of hunters who lived in an arctic climate, living a nomad life in their hunt for reindeer, moose, bear and wolves. 

At that time Sweden, Denmark and Europe were connected by a land bridge but with time the land was separated by water and fishing became an important industry. Salted herring was the main product of export for hundreds of years.

1000 - 1300

A Viking Area
The Malmö region is a Viking area. Vikings sailed to England, Iceland and all the way to the Middle East from here. The Vikings in this area were merchants as well as warriors. Foteviken, which lies south of Malmö, was one of the biggest battlezones in the 1134. (picture: Fosie Rune Stone)

Denmark was christianed during the Danish king Harald Blåtand's rule. Churches were built and during this time, a German teacher, Adam of Bremen, who visited Skåne for the first time, described Skåne as the richest, most beautiful region and cultural centre of Denmark.

Malmøi and Malmøghe
Malmö was first mentioned in church records from 1270. In the records it's called Malmøi and Malmøghe, while the Icelandic people called the city Malmhaugar. All names are put together by the words malm (gravel or sand) and höghe (ridge).

Malmö was influenced by German culture, which we can see by studying the St Petri church for instance. In 1275 people are travelling back and forth across the sound, centuries before the Öresund bridge was even thought of!


A commercial centre
Malmö grew to become a vital commercial centre ruled by Sweden, Denmark and the Hanseatic League. For many hundreds of years the locals exported salt herring from Malmö. As many as 30.000 barrels of herring were exported every year.

The City Arms
In 1437, Malmö was awarded its city arms by Erik av Pommern. The arms showed a griffin with a red neck that is crowned with a gold crown. The city arms were modernized recently but after more than 500 years it still looks pretty much the same.

The Reformation
The reformation started in 1524 where Malmö played a leading role. A new translation of the New Testament was published by Christian Pedersen, and the first Danish psalm-book was published four years later. Claus Mortensen became Malmö's first Lutheran priest.


Malmö become Swedish
Skåne and Malmö belonged to Denmark until 1658 when the region became Swedish.
The Swedish king Karl X Gustav was in war with Poland when Denmark declared war against Sweden. Karl X answered the declaration by marching from Poland through Jylland to attack Copenhagen.

The winter of 1657-1658 was very cold and the ice over the Belts had frozen. By marching over the ice, which rarely froze over, the Danish army was taken by surprise and didn't stand a chance.

The peace in Roskilde
The Danish Army were forced to surrender and in February 1658, the Peace in Roskilde was signed. Denmark lost Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and Bornholm as well as Bohuslän and Trondhjem in Norway to Sweden.


A conspiracy
One year after Malmö became Swedish a conspiracy against Sweden in 1659 resulted in the beheading of the leaders at the town square Stortorget.

In 1670 the fortification was strengthened. During the next few decades, Malmö suffered from epidemics and sieges. In 1712 many citizens died of the plague.

The harbour

In 1775 the harbour was rebuilt by Frans Suell Jr. This allowed the town to flourish. The improved commerce helped to finance further improvements such as cranes, lighthouses, shipyards and a direct link to the railway.

The industry...
In 1828 the first pleasure steam boat came into service and by 1830 a regular run between Copenhagen, Malmö and Lübeck was established. In 1840 was Kockums Industries founded and in 1870 started the Kockums shipyard which in the middle of the 20th century was among the largest in the world.


By 1870 Malmö had become Sweden's third largest city. At the turn of the century Malmö was an important industry town in northern Europe.

20th century

The city grows
Malmö grows faster than ever during the 1900s and becomes a beautiful and well visited city. Not only Danes but also tourists and business people from all over the world come to visit and enjoy our city.

Knowledge and service
Many changes have taken place in the city during the past 100 years. Malmö grew and became an important industrial town in the early 1900s. Towards the turn of the century Malmö aimed more and more towards knowledge and service, leaving most of the industrial heritage behind.

The building continues...
During this century, Malmös first park, Slottsparken, is inaugurated, the racecourse Jägersro is built, as is Malmö Stadium, Sturup airport and the beautiful park Pildammsparken just to name a few. And the building continued - Malmö University opened its gates in 1998 and the bridge over Öresund opened for traffic in July 2000.

Today Malmö has over 280 800 inhabitants representing 171 nations, which makes the city a truly cosmopolitan one. 21st century buildings - Turning Torso and The Western Harbour, Malmö Arena and even investement in the City Tunnel add more and more modernity to its skyline.

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