Founded in the 12th cent., Malmö was an important trade and shipping center during the Hanseatic period. It was usually a Danish possession until it passed to Sweden in 1658 with Skåne prov. Malmöhus castle (begun 1434) is a museum. Other noteworthy buildings include the city hall (1546), St. Peter's Church (14th cent.), and the twisted high-rise apartment building (2005) designed by Santiago Calatrava. Malmö is connected by a bridge and tunnel link (opened 2000) to Copenhagen.
Malmö is the seat of Malmö Municipality and the capital of Skåne County. Malmö is also a bimunicipal locality, as part of it is Burlöv Municipality. The population counts 258,000 of which 10,000 are in Burlöv.
The administrative entity for most of the city is Malmö Municipality which has 282,000 inhabitants in eight different localities.
Malmö was one of the earliest and most industrialized towns of Scandinavia, but until the turn of the millennium had been struggling with the adaptation to post-industrialism. Since then, Malmö has become a new city, with impressive architectural developments, attracting new biotech and IT companies, and particularly students through Malmö University.
The city contains many historic buildings and parks, and is also a commercial center for the western part of Scania. During the last few years a university college (University College of Malmö) has been established and the city is now trying to focus on education, arts and culture. Malmö was ranked #4 in Grist Magazine's "15 Green Cities" list in 2007.
In the 15th century, Malmö became one of Denmark's largest and most frequented cities, reaching a population of approximately 5,000 inhabitants. It became the most important city around The Sound, with the German Hanseatic League frequenting it as a marketplace, notable for its flourishing herring fishing. During that time, the city arms were granted in 1437 by King Eric of Pomerania. It was based on Eric's own arms from Pomerania: an argent with a griffin gules. It gave the griffin's head to Malmö, eventually this extended to the entire province of Scania.
In 1434, a new citadel was constructed at the beach south of town. This fortress, known today as Malmöhus, did not get its current appearance until the mid-16th century. Several other fortifications were constructed, making Malmö Sweden's most fortified city, but only Malmöhus remains.
Lutheran teachings became popular during the 16th century, and Malmö was one of the first cities in Scandinavia to fully convert (1527-29).
In the 17th century, Malmö and the Scanian region (Skåneland) came into Swedish possession. This happened following the Treaty of Roskilde, signed in 1658. Fighting was not yet over, however; in June 1677, 14,000 Danish troops laid siege to Malmö for a month, but were unable to conquer the Swedish troops holding it.
By the dawn of the 18th century, Malmö had about 2,300 inhabitants. However, due to the wars of Charles XII of Sweden and plague epidemics, the population dropped to 1,500 by 1728. The population did not grow much until the modern harbour was constructed by the late 18th century. The city started to expand, and in the year 1800 had 38,054 inhabitants.
Malmö would greatly benefit from the Swedish southern railway line, constructed 1850-70, as it gave a significant boost to industry. In 1840, the Kockums shipyard was founded. The industry dominated Malmö for the next 150 years.
In 1870, Malmö overtook Norrköping to become Sweden's third most populated city. By 1900, Malmö had strengthened this position with 60,000 inhabitants.
Malmö continued to expand through the first half of the 20th century. The population had swiftly increased to 100,000 by 1915 and to 200,000 by 1952. Kockums shipyard was Malmö's largest employer, and one of the largest shipyards in the world. By 1971, Malmö reached 265,000 inhabitants, but this was the peak which would stand for more than 30 years. Not long after, Sweden experienced a recession that struck especially hard on the industrial sector; shipyards and manufacturing industries were hard hit, which led to high unemployment in many cities of Scania. Kockums shipyard closed down in the mid-eighties, depriving the city of its greatest employer as well as a major factor in Malmö's image of itself (the old shipyard area is now used by Malmö Högskola). In addition, many middle class families moved into one-family houses in surrounding municipalities such as Vellinge Municipality, Lomma Municipality and Staffanstorp Municipality which profiled themselves as the suburbs of the upper middle class. To counter this, at the end of the 1990s Malmö undertook a program of redeveloping attractive seafront quarters in the now largely disused south-western harbour; a city architecture exposition (Bo01) was held in 2001. The new apartment buildings and villas created for it have become the core of a new city district, aimed at the urban middle-class and with attractive waterfront vistas.
By 1985, Malmö had lost 35,000 inhabitants and was down to 229,000. However, the toughest difficulties were yet to emerge. Between 1990-95, Malmö lost about 27,000 jobs, and its economy was seriously strained.
However, thanks to several government-funded projects, Malmö started to emerge as its current modern incarnation by 1995. Malmö has the highest proportion of individuals of non-Scandinavian extraction of any Swedish city. It remains a city of sharp social divide and high unemployment.
Malmö is part of the transnational Oresund Region and since 2000 the Oresund Bridge crosses the Oresund strait to Copenhagen, Denmark. The bridge was inaugurated July 1, 2000, and measures 8 kilometres (the whole link totalling 16 km), with pylons reaching 204.5 metres vertically. Apart from the Helsingborg-Helsingør ferry links further north, most ferry connections have been discontinued.
Summers in Malmö are warm with high temperatures around 21°C (70°F) and lows of 13°C (55°F), but temperatures often exceeds 25°C (77°F). Being the southern most city in Sweden, Malmö has the warmest winters in Sweden with high temperatures just above freezing and lows just below freezing.
|Mean daily maximum temperature (°C)||2||2||5||10||16||20||21||21||17||12||7||4||11.4|
|Mean daily minimum temperature (°C)||-3||-3||-1||2||7||11||13||12||10||7||3||-1||4.8|
|Mean total rainfall (mm)||49||30||40||38||41||52||61||58||59||57||61||58||603|
|Mean number of rain days||17||13||14||12||12||12||14||13||14||15||17||16||169|
Oresundtrains cross Øresund Bridge every 20 minutes connecting Malmö to Copenhagen, and the Copenhagen Airport. Also some of the X2000 and Intercity trains to Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Kalmar cross the bridge, stopping at Copenhagen Airport.
In March 2005, digging began on a new railway connection called the City Tunnel. The tunnel will run from under Malmö Central Station to Triangeln continuing to Hyllievång (Hyllie Meadow), where it will emerge to connect with the Oresund Bridge, effectively changing Malmö Central from being a terminus to being a transit station.
The motorway system has been incorporated with the Oresund Bridge; the European route E20 goes over the bridge and then, together with the European route E6 follows the Swedish west coast from Malmö–Helsingborg to Gothenburg. E6 goes further north along the west coast and through Norway to the Norwegian town Kirkenes at Barents Sea. The European route to Jönköping–Stockholm (E4) starts at Helsingborg. Main roads in direction of Växjö–Kalmar, Kristianstad–Karlskrona, Ystad, and Trelleborg start as freeways.
Malmö Municipality is an administrative unit defined by geographical borders, consisting of the City of Malmö and its immediate surroundings.
The Malmö urban area, Malmö tätort with 258,020 inhabitants (2005), consists of the urban part of the municipality together with the small town of Arlöv in the municipality of Burlöv. Both municipalities also include smaller urban areas and rural areas, such as the suburbs of Oxie and Åkarp. Malmö tätort is to be distinguished from Malmö stad (The city of Malmö), which is a semi-official name of Malmö Municipality, although this terminology appears counterintuitive to many locals.
As of 2005, Malmö had the third-highest proportion of foreign-born residents of any municipality in Sweden.
There were 171 different nationalities represented in Malmö in 2007.
More than half of Swedbank's 12 bank offices in Malmö were robbed during 2008.
However, during the last few years there has been a revival. The main contributing factor have been the economic integration with Denmark brought about by the Oresund Bridge. Almost 10% of the population in Malmö works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Also the university college (Malmö Högskola) founded in 1998 and the effects of integration into the European Union have contributed.
Malmö still has comparatively high unemployment figures, particularly among the ethnically and socially diverse areas in the eastern and southern parts (See Malmö's suburbs). In 2004, the rate of wage-earners was 63%, compared to 74% in Stockholm and 71% in Gothenburg.
As of 2005, the largest companies were:
In addition, the venerable Lund University (established in 1668) has some education located to Malmö:
The UN World Maritime University is also located in Malmö. The World Maritime University (WMU) operates under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. WMU thus enjoys the status, privileges and immunities of a UN institution in Sweden.
A striking depiction of Malmö was made by Bo Widerberg in his engaging debut film Kvarteret Korpen (Raven's End) (1963), largely shot to the shabby Korpen working-class district in Malmö. With humour and tenderness it depicts the tensions between classes and generations. The movie was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Movie in 1965.
In 1944, one of the city's most enduring cultural hubs was inaugurated, namely the Municipal Theatre, with several stages (the main stage is the most expansive theatre room in Sweden) and a repertory, then as now embracing both stage theatre, opera, musical, ballet, musical recitals and theatrical experiments. In the 1950s, Ingmar Bergman was the Director and Chief Stage Director of the place and made it one of the most vital scenes of the nation; many of the people he would bring to stardom in his sixties movies he encountered here (for example Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin). Later stage directors include Staffan Valdemar Holm and Göran Stangertz.
Since the 1970s the city has also been home to a rich, if fluctuating, array of independent theatre groups and some show/musical companies. It also hosts a rich rock/dance/dub culture; in the 1960s The Rolling Stones played the Klubb Bongo, and in recent years stars like Morrissey, Nick Cave, B. B. King and Pat Metheny have made repeated visits.
The Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, founded in 1988 by the Swedish art collector and financier Fredrik Roos and housed in a former power station which had been built in 1900, was one of the foremost centers for contemporary art in Europe during the 1980s and '90s. By 2006, most of the collection had been sold off and the museum was on a time-out; the future of the museum foundation and the house are still undetermined.
The Opera of Malmö (Malmö Opera och Musikteater) is well-known in Sweden and a wide range of operas, musicals and plays have been performed there.
Recession followed in the ensuing centuries. The next expansion period was in the mid 19th century and led to the modern stone and brick city. This expansion lasted into the 20th century and can be seen by a number Jugendstil buildings for which the city is known. Malmö was one of the first cities in Sweden to be influenced by modern ideas of functionalist tenement architecture in the 1930s. Around 1965, the government initiated the so called Million Programme, intending to offer affordable apartments in the outskirts of major Swedish cities. But this period also saw the reconstruction (and razing) of much of the historical city center.
Recent years have seen a bolder more cosmopolitan architecture. Västra Hamnen (The Western Harbor), like most of the harbor to the north of the city center, was industrial. In 2001, however, its reconstruction began as an exclusive, albeit secluded, urban residential neighborhood. The 500 dwelling units are extremely unique and inventive and most were part of the exhibition Bo01. The exhibition had two main objectives: develop self-sufficient housing units in terms of energy and greatly diminish the phosphorous emissions. Among the new buildings towers the Turning Torso, a spectacular twisting skyscraper, tall, the majority of which is residential. It quickly became Malmö's new landmark within Sweden.
The long boardwalk at The Western Harbour has become a new favourite summer hang-out for the people of Malmö and is a popular place for bathing.
BUFF, the International Children and Young People's Film Festival in Malmö, takes place every year in March.
Malmö was also the host of the Eurovision Song Contest 1992, after Sweden won it the previous year.
Nordic Games Conference, one of the most important events in game development industry, takes place in Malmö every May. The event consists of conference itself, recruitment expo and game expo and attracts hundreds of gamedev professionals every year.
The most popular football team in Malmö is Malmö FF, in the top-level Allsvenskan. They had their period of glamour in the 1970s and 1980s, when they won the league several times. In 1979, they advanced to the finals of the European Cup, now the UEFA Champions League. Then followed some meager years, until they in 2004 won the Allsvenskan again. This is also where Zlatan Ibrahimović started his professional football-career.
The second most notable team is Malmö Redhawks, in ice hockey. They were the creation of a millionaire and quickly rose to the highest rank in the 1990s. Malmö also got an American football team Limhamn Griffins they have won the Swedish national championship in American football three times 1993,1994 and 2007.