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Sundsvall
Top:Panorama view of downtown Sundsvall, Stenstaden and South Stadsberget, 2nd left:Mid Sweden University (Mittuniversitetet), 2nd right:Court of Appeal for Lower Norrland in Bunsouska Pond, 3rd left:North Gate Arena and Gustav Adolf Curch, 3rd right:Sundsvall Theater, Bottom:Kulturmagasiret, Sundsvall Museum and Library
Top:Panorama view of downtown Sundsvall, Stenstaden and South Stadsberget, 2nd left:Mid Sweden University (Mittuniversitetet), 2nd right:Court of Appeal for Lower Norrland in Bunsouska Pond, 3rd left:North Gate Arena and Gustav Adolf Curch, 3rd right:Sundsvall Theater, Bottom:Kulturmagasiret, Sundsvall Museum and Library
Country Sweden
Province Medelpad
County Västernorrland County
Municipality Sundsvall Municipality
Area
 • Total 27.46 km2 (10.60 sq mi)
Population (31 December 2010)
 • Total 51,354
 • Density 1,847/km2 (4,780/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Sundsvall is a town in the county of Västernorrland in Sweden. It is the seat of Sundsvall Municipality. In June 1888, a fire affected the town.

History

Suecia 2-063 ; Sundsvall
Sundsvall circa 1700, in Suecia antiqua et hodierna.

thumb|Sundsvall in Sweden The town was chartered in 1621, and a first urban plan for Sundsvall was probably created by Olof Bure in 1642, less likely in 1623. It has a port by the Gulf of Bothnia, and is located 395 km north of Stockholm. The city has burned down and been rebuilt four times. The first time, in 1721, it was set on fire by the Russian army during the Russian Pillage of 1719-1721.

Sundsvall brand 1888
The city was burnt on 25 June 1888

According to one historian, Swedish industrialism started in Sundsvall when the Tunadal sawmill bought a steam-engine driven saw in 1849. In the early 20th century Sundsvall was an even greater centre of forestry industry in Sweden than it is today. The first large Swedish strike was the "Sundsvall strike" in 1879. The industrial heritage makes social democrat and socialist sympathies more prevalent in the Sundsvall region than in Sweden as a whole.

In 1888 on the 25 June, strong wind and dry conditions contributed to two city fires in Sweden on the same day. On this day both Umeå and Sundsvall caught fire. The Sundsvall fire was the largest in Sweden's history. It is presumed that the fire was caused by a spark from a steamship. After the fire, and unlike Umeå, the decision was to rebuild using stone. Sundsvall's centre was later nicknamed Stenstaden (the stone city). One advantage of the new construction was that within three years the town was arguing that it should be allowed reduced insurance as new rules had been brought in that applied to wooden towns. One disadvantage was that after the fire only the better off could afford to live in the centre.

Today Sundsvall is not only dominated by the pulp and paper industry, and the aluminium production but there are also banks, insurance companies, telecommunications administration and a number of large public data-processing centres such as the national social insurance board. The main campus of the newly established Mid Sweden University (Mittuniversitetet) is also located in the city. The university is a collaboration between Östersund, Sundsvall and Härnösand.

Sundsvall in Sweden Storgatan
Storgatan, the famous main street in Sundsvall in the heart of Stenstaden ("The stone city")

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