Linköping [ˈlɪnɕøːpɪŋ] is a city in southern Sweden, with a population of 97,885 (2006). It is the seat of Linköping Municipality with 140,367 inhabitants (2007) and the capital of Östergötland County. Linköping is also the episcopal see of the Diocese of Linköping (Church of Sweden) and is well known for its cathedral.
Linköping is the center of an old cultural region and celebrated its 700th anniversary in 1987. Nowadays Linköping is known for its university and its high-technology industry. Dominating the city's skyline from a far distance is the tower of the cathedral.
The city is situated south of lake Roxen (which is part of the historically important water paths Motala ström and the Göta Canal) where the main road from Stockholm to Helsingborg crosses the river Stångån (and Kinda kanal).
This road was part of the Eriksgata route that the newly elected king had to travel according to medieval Swedish Law. In the 20th century road system, it was first called Riksettan (national highway no 1). It is currently called E4 and has been redirected to pass outside the city on the north side. Further contributing to Linköping's excellent communications is its situation on the main southern railway line connecting Stockholm with Malmö and Danish capital Copenhagen. There is also a minor airport, Linköping SAAB Airport.
The city is probably named after the Lionga ting assembly which according to medieval Ostrogothic law was the most important ting in Östergötland. Exact location of the Lionga ting is not known, but it was along the Eriksgata.
Historically, Linköping is famed for being an early diocese, second in Sweden (within its pre-1658 boundaries) only to Skara. The diocese is first mentioned in 1104 in the so-called "List of Florence" (Lionga. Kaupinga). The monastery of Vreta Kloster near Roxen north of Linköping was established in 1128, and the oldest parts of the cathedral are also from the 12th century (although it has been changed many times since then, the eye-catching tower being a 19th century product). At several occasions, attempts to achieve a separate Swedish archdiocese were based in Linköping, though when they finally were successful in 1164, Uppsala was chosen instead.
Religious centers tend to become educational centers, and Linköping was no exception. A cathedral school can be traced from 1266. In 1627 the current Linköping cathedral school was established, making it the second oldest gymnasium in Sweden.
Also, Linköping was the site for the final settlement of the dispute between king Sigismund III Vasa and his uncle Duke Charles, the latter prevailing in the battle of Stångebro (today a sports field near central Linköping) on September 25, 1598. This ultimately led to the rise to the throne of Charles (de facto at the Riksdag at Linköping in 1600 and formally four years later) and the end of the short-lived Swedish-Polish personal union, as well as the execution of five of Charles's political opponents on the main square of Linköping on March 20, 1600.
Linköping was a relatively small town until 1937, when the Saab aircraft industry was formed, starting a period of rapid expansion. Linköping University was established in the 1960s. Today the city is a center of high-technology and software industry.
Linköping is the home of the multi-purpose Östergötland County Museum and of the Linköping Symphony Orchestra. The city is one of the sites of the Östergötland Music Days each summer, and the host of the Student Orchestra Festival in May every other year. One of the most notable choirs in Linköping is the Linköping University Male Voice Choir.
When the area around the main square was re-planned in the 1960s and many old houses were destroyed, some of those were moved to Gamla Linköping (Old Linköping), in the city's western part, neighbouring the university's main campus. It is a living museum environment and a popular site for both residents and tourists to visit.
Centrally located street Ågatan contains many pubs and restaurants. It also hosts many of the city's night clubs, such as Harrys, BK and Platå.
Sister cities to Linköping are