Uppsala, Sweden

Sister City since 2000.

Welcome | Mayor | Governor | Miles to Minneapolis | Population | History
Did you Know? | Why is it a Sister City? | Resources

Welcome: Välkommen!

Mayor (Municipal commissioner- Kommunalråd): Fredrik Ahlstedt

County Governor: Marlene Burwick

Miles/kms to Minneapolis: 4226mi/6801kms

Population: 128,409

History:

The capital of Uppsala County, Uppsala is the fourth largest city in Sweden and about 44 miles away from Stockholm. Since 1164, Uppsala has been the ecclesiastical center of Sweden.  Before its consecration as a Christian stronghold Gamla (Old) Uppsala was a primary pagan center known for hosting a Temple that contained the idols of the Æsir gods.

Replacing the Scandinavian gods signaled the need for a strong Christian centre. Thus, Uppsala became the site of to one of the largest Gothic style Cathedrals ever built in northern Europe. Yet in 1702 the city was severely damaged by a fire thereby losing many historical and cultural treasures.  Items saved from destruction were later placed in the Gustavianum, a history museum based in part of Uppsala University.  Development grew up around the University, which remains the largest in all of Scandinavia.  Home to famous scientist, Carl Linneaus (1708-1778), the University also houses the Carolina Rediviva, the Uppsala University Library which is the largest library in Sweden built in 1820-1841.  While the University is the largest of Uppsala's educational institutions, the city is also home to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, as Lutheran seminary (Johannelunds Teologiska Hogskola, Livets Ord University, the Catholic Newmanistitutet, and a Pentecostal theological seminary.   In additional to the foundation and preservation of these educational and theological institutions, in modern times, Uppsala has established itself as a force in the medical and tech industries.  The city has been recognized for its leading position in research in biotechnology.

Did you know?

* The city of Uppsala is split into two different parts by the Fyris (fyrisån) river: the historic quarter, which also the clergy, royalty, and academia have resided on the west of the river and the administrative, residential and commercial areas to the east.

* King Gustav Vasa initiated construction of the Uppsala Castle in 1549.  He was the first Swedish monarch to inherit the crown.  Today, the castle is the residence of the County Governor, as well as home to the Uppsala Art Museum. 

* Queen Christina, granddaughter of Gutav Vasa, abdicated the throne at the age of 28, giving a farewell speech in a ceremony at Uppsala Castle in 1654, before leaving Sweden for Rome.

* Swedish film director Igmar Bergman was born there in 1918.

* Uppsala University is the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477.  

* Theater and music are important to community here where over 200 choirs have formed.

* Swedish botanist and father of taxonomy Carl Linneaus was a scholar at Uppsala University.   The house lived and worked, in addition to his summer residence, has been preserved as a museum and the grounds of his estate as gardens and memorial farm.

* Bicycles are an important mode of transport year round for students in this university city.

*Each year, in March, Uppsala hosts the play-offs for the Swedish Bandy Championship. Bandy is a popular winter sport for men women and children in Uppsala. (It's a bit like hockey, but played with special bandy sticks a round ball.)

* In early February the annual Disting market is held in Uppsala, This is a traditional market/fair dating back to pre-historic times.

Why is it a sister city?

*Uppsala shares with Minneapolis a rich history, a similar climate, a strong devotion to advanced education, and a serious appreciation of the arts.

*Minneapolis is home to the descendants of many Swedes who settled in the Midwest.

*Biotechnology, Agriculture, and Medical research are core enterprises in both cities.

Resources:

City website

Tourism guide

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