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Sundsvall

Sundsvall is a city and the seat of Sundsvall Municipality in Västernorrland County, Sweden. It has a population of 51,354 as of 2010; more than 95,000 live in the municipal area.HistoryThe town was chartered in 1621, and a first urban plan for Sundsvall was probably created by Olof Bure in 1642, less likely in 1623. It has a port by the Gulf of Bothnia, and is located 395 km north of Stockholm. The city has burned down and been rebuilt four times. The first time, in 1721, it was set on fire by the Russian army during the Great Northern War.According to one historian, Swedish industrialism started in Sundsvall when the Tunadal sawmill bought a steam-engine driven saw in 1849. In the early 20th century Sundsvall was an even greater centre of forestry industry in Sweden than it is today. The first large Swedish strike was the "Sundsvall strike" in 1879. The industrial heritage makes social democrat and socialist sympathies more prevalent in the Sundsvall region than in Sweden as a whole.In 1888 on the 25 June, strong wind and dry conditions contributed to two city fires in Sweden on the same day. On this day both Umeå and Sundsvall caught fire. The Sundsvall fire was the largest in Sweden's history. It is presumed that the fire was caused by a spark from a steamship. After the fire, and unlike Umeå, the decision was to rebuild using stone. Sundsvall's centre was later nicknamed Stenstaden (the stone city). One advantage of the new construction was that within three years the town was arguing that it should be allowed reduced insurance as new rules had been brought in that applied to wooden towns. One disadvantage was that after the fire only the better off could afford to live in the centre.
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