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Vastervik

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Västervik is a city and the seat of Västervik Municipality, Kalmar County, Sweden with 21,140 inhabitants in 2010.HistoryVästervik was first mentioned in 1275. The town was then located at the current location of Gamleby. In 1433 Eric of Pomerania decided to give it a charter and move it to its current strategically important location, close to the castle of Stegeholm. In the ensuing centuries Västervik suffered attacks from hostile armies. It was more or less completely destroyed five times between 1450 and 1677. Despite this, king Gustav Vasa established a ship industry here in the 16th century, from which ships sailed to Germany and the Baltic countries, and from the 17th century they sailed to Portugal too. In the 18th century a long period of peace allowed the ship industry to expand, increasing the ship routes down to the Mediterranean Sea. The population of Västervik in 1800 was 2 985 which by 1880 went up to 6 189 because of the industrial advancement and in 1920 it had reached 11 889. Building the railroad to Hultsfred, Norsholm and Vimmerby 1879-1906 changed the flow of people moving in and out. After being reduced 1920-1940 the population grew 1970 up to 20 577 inhabitants. Dockyards, papermill, fishing, nail factory, stone masonry, match factory, mechanical garages became the foundation of the towns industrial advancement. Västervik belongs to the Diocese of Linköping and the people have felt a belonging to both Småland and Östergötland.
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