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Trollhättan

Trollhättan is a city (pop. 53,952 (2007)) in Västergötland, Sweden, and the seat of Trollhättan Municipality, Västra Götaland County.

History

Trollhättan was founded by the river Göta älv, at a location with several waterfalls. The site was first mentioned in literature from 1413. For centuries, Trollhättan was an obstacle for the boats travelling the river, up until a lock system was completed in the nineteenth century. It has since been updated several times and the present locks were finished in 1916.

In the late nineteenth century, hydropower was developed in Trollhättan. The Swedish energy corporation Vattenfall ("waterfall") took its name from the falls in Trollhättan. Today the city has two operational hydropower stations, Olidan and Håjum. The hydropower has helped the city in its industrial revolution.

The name "Trollhättan" comes from folkloristic tales. People believed that large trolls lived in the river Göta älv and that the islands in the river were the Trolls' hoods ("hättor"). Other former names of the site is Eiðar and Stora Edet; the latter lives on in the name of the south-bordering municipality of Lilla Edet. The waterfall of Trollhättan has been theorized to be the Mímir's Well from the Norse mythology.

Trollhättan was granted city rights (which today have no legal effect, but is purely historical) in 1916 at which time it had about 15,000 inhabitants, now grown to 54,000.

Industries

Trollhättan houses a number of industries, foremost the main production sites for Saab Automobile and Volvo Aero. In the area, there is also a large number of suppliers to these two facilities. Historically Trollhättan housed the NOHAB industries that produced locomotives, and Stridsberg & Biörk who had specialized in saws for sawmills. There is also a film production facility, known as Trollywood; movies shot there include Show Me Love (Fucking Åmål), Dancer in the Dark and Dogville. The movie studio Film i Väst centered here produces about half of the Swedish feature-length films.

References

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