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Kalmar is a city in Smålandmarker in the south-east of Swedenmarker, situated by the Baltic Seamarker. It had 35,170 inhabitants in 2005 and is the seat of Kalmar Municipalitymarker with a total of 61,321 inhabitants (2006). It is also the capital of Kalmar County, which comprises 12 municipalities with a total of 233,776 inhabitants (2006).

From the thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries, Kalmar was one of Sweden's most important cities. Between 1602 and 1913 it was the episcopal see of Kalmar Diocese, with a bishop, and the Kalmar Cathedralmarker from 1702 is still a fine example of classicistic architecture. It became a fortified city, with the still mighty Kalmar Castlemarker as the center. After the Treaty of Roskilde 1658 Kalmar's importance diminished, until the industry sector was initiated in the 19th century.

Geographically Kalmar is the main route to the island of Ölandmarker thanks to the Öland Bridge.


Seal of Kalmar, 13th century

The area around Kalmar has been inhabited since ancient times. Diggings have found traces of stone age gravefields. The oldest sources of there being a town are however from the 11th century. According to a medieval folk tale, the Norwegian patron Saint Olav had his ships moved to Kalmar. The oldest city seal of Kalmar is from somewhere between 1255-1267, making it the oldest known city seal in Scandinavia.

In the 12th century the first foundations of a castle were established, with the construction of a round tower for guard and lookout. The tower was continuously expanded on in 13th century, and as such, Queen Margaret called an assembly there between head of states of Sweden and Norway, and on July 13, 1397, the Kalmar Union treaty was signed, which would last until 1523. Kalmar's strategic location, near the Danish border (at the time the Scanian lands, i.e the provinces of Blekingemarker, Hallandmarker and Scania, were part of Denmark), and its harbour and merchancy, also involved it into several feuds. There are two events independently labelled Kalmar bloodbath: The first in 1505, when King John of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden let execute the mayor and city council of Kalmar; the second in 1599 by command of Duke Charles, later to became King Charles IX of Sweden.

Location of Kalmar
In the 1540s, first King Gustav Vasa, and later his sons Erik XIV of Sweden and John III of Sweden would organize a rebuilding of the castle into the magnificent Renaissance castle it is today.

Kalmar became a diocese in 1602, a position it held until 1903. In 1634, Kalmar County is founded, with Kalmar as the natural capital. In 1660, the Kalmar Cathedral was begun by drawings of Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. It would be inaugurated in 1702.

In 1611-1613, it suffered in the Kalmar War, which began with a Danish siege of Kalmar Castle. 1611 is mentioned as the darkest year of Kalmar's history, but by no means the only dark year; much blood has been shed in the vicinity of the castle. The last was during the Scanian War in the 1670s, leading its sieges to a total of 22—yet, the castle was never taken.

After the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, the strategical importance of Kalmar gradually diminished as the borders were drawn to a southern latitude. In 1689, the King established his main naval base south in Karlskronamarker and Kalmar lost its status as one of Sweden's main military outposts.


In more recent times, Kalmar has been an industrial city with Kalmar Verkstad making steam engines, trains and large machinery, later bought by Bombardier. Volvo closed their factory for buildning cars i.e. 740, 760, 960 in 1994 and due to further relocation of industry jobs in the 90s and 00s Bombardier closed their factory in 2005. Around 2000 industrial jobs was lost. It has a university with over 9,000 students and a research facility for Telia Sonera.

Kalmar has embarked on a comprehensive program to reduce fossil fuel use. A local trucking firm, which employs nearly 450 people, has installed computers that track fuel efficiency and have cut diesel use by 10 percent, paying off the cost of the devices in just a year. The company is now looking to fuel its future fleet with biodiesel.

A large wood pulp plant harnesses the steam and hot water it once released as waste to provide heating, through below-ground pipes, and generates enough electricity to power its own operations and 20,000 homes.

Bicycle lanes are common, and cars line up at Kalmar city's public biogas pump. Building codes now require thermal insulation and efficient windows for new construction or retrofits. Street lights use low-energy sodium bulbs, and car dealers promote fuel-efficient and hybrid vehicles.


File:KalmarCastle.JPG|Scenic photograph of Kalmar Castlemarker in the summer sunFile:Kalmar Dahlberg.jpg|Engraving from Suecia antiqua et hodierna, cirka 1700File:KalmarBridge.jpg|In 1972, the 6 km long Öland bridge was built from Kalmar to the town of Färjestadenmarker on Ölandmarker

Notable natives

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