Östergötland is a one of the traditional provinces of Sweden (landskap in Swedish) in the south of Sweden. It borders Småland, Västergötland, Närke, Södermanland, and the Baltic Sea. In older English literature one may also encounter the Latinized version Ostrogothia.
The provinces of Sweden
serve no administrative functions. However, the corresponding administrative county, Östergötland County
covers the entire province and parts of neighbouring provinces.
From 1560 Östergötland was represented with two separate arms until 1884 when the current one was granted. The arms is represented with a dukal coronet. Blazon: "Gules a Griffin with Dragon Wings, Tail and Tongue rampant Or armed, beaked, langued and membered Azure between four Roses Argent."
From west to east, in the middle parts, extends the Östgöta Plain (Östgöta-slätten
). It is largely agricultural
. In the southern part of the province, the terrain becomes marked by the south-Swedish highlands
, with hills and countless lakes. The northern parts are also hilly, and are otherwise dominated by forests.
Outside the eastern shore of Östergötland lies an archipelago, the islands and islets of which cover an area of 118 km². The Bråviken bay continues further into the country. Some of the more notable islands are Korsö, Gränsö, Arkö, Djursö, Yxnö, Finnö, Emtö, Fångö and Stora Ålö.
Traditionally, the region is divided into two halves, east and west of the river Stångån, which flows from the south into lake Roxen at Linköping.
The eastern part of Göta Canal traverses the province from the Baltic sea at Mem to lake Vättern at Motala.
- Highest mountain: Stenabohöjden 327 meters
- Largest lake: Vättern (Second largest lake of Sweden)
Cities and the year of their now defunct royal charter
Today, the largest city in the province is Linköping, with Norrköping second. Skänninge is of virtually no importance; Mjölby is also small. An additional town without a royal charter that has emerged in the 20th century is Finspång.
The earliest mention of Östergötland (the Ostrogoths of Scandza
) appears in the Getica
by the Goth
The traditions of Östergötland date back into the viking age, the undocumented Iron Age, and earlier, when this region had its own laws and kings (see Geatish kings and Wulfings). The region kept its own laws, the Östgötalagen, into the Middle Ages. Östergötland belonged to the Christian heartland of late Iron Age and early medieval Sweden. The Sverker and Bjälbo dynasties played pivotal roles in the consolidation of Sweden.
The province has about 50,000 ancient remains of different kinds. 1,749 are for instance grave fields.
Industry was formerly most significant in the cities of Norrköping (industries include Ericsson), Linköping (where SAAB have air craft industries where the Gripen fighter is produced) Finspång (metal works), and Motala (mechanical industries) .
Dukes of Östergötland
Swedish Princes have been created Dukes of various
provinces. This is solely a nominal title.
Formerly the östgöta [IPA: øɧːøta or
øɧœːta] dialect spectrum were considered true göta dialects, but is nowadays considered being a transition area between true göta dialects and svea dialects. The dialects are still used in rural areas, but in the cities, the Standard Swedish is spoken with a certain östgöta accent.
The accent Östgötska
[IPA: øɧːøtska] can be distinguished from Standard Swedish just by accent and pronunciation of vowels ad sje- and tje- sounds, which makes Östgöta accent an eastern variety of the Götaland
accent. In some parts bordering to Södermanland
, a variety of the Svealand
accent is spoken.
, one of the best preserved renaissance
castles in Sweden, has belonged to the families Sture
. Löfstad Castle
has its origin in the early 17th century having belonged to the von Fersen
family. Vadstena Castle
, built by the Vasa
dynasty 1545–1620, is combined fortress and renaissance castle.
The Hundreds of Sweden
were jurisdictional divisions in effect until early 20th century.
- Nordisk Familjebok, see below