Jonkoping - Encyclopedia


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JONKOPING, a town of Sweden, capital of the district (ldn) of Jenkbping, 230 m. S.W. of Stockholm by rail. Pop. (1900), 23,143. It occupies a beautiful but somewhat unhealthy position between the southern end of Lake Vetter and two small lakes, Roksjd and Munksjd. Two quarters of the town, Svenska Mad and Tyska Mad, recall the time when the site was a marsh (mad), and buildings were constructed on piles. The residential, suburbs among the hills, especially Dunkehallar, are attractive and healthier than the town. The church of St Kristine (c. 1650), the court-houses, town-hall, government buildings, and high school, are noteworthy. The town is one of the leading industrial centres in Sweden. The match manufacture, for which it is principally famous, was founded by Johan Edvard Lundstrdm in 1844. The well-known brand of sakerhets-tcindstickor (safety-matches) was introduced later. There are also textile manufactures, paper-factories (on Munksjii), and mechanical works. There is a large fire-arms factory at Huskvarna, 5.m E. Water-power is supplied here by a fine series of falls. The hill Taberg, 8 m. S., is a mass of magnetic iron ore, rising 410 ft. above the surrounding country, 2950 ft. long and 1475 ft. broad, but the percentage of iron is low as compared with the rich ores of other parts, and the deposit is little worked. Jiinkoping is the seat of one of the three courts of appeal in Sweden.

Jdnkoping received the earliest extant Swedish charter in 1284 from Magnus I. The castle is mentioned in 1263, when Waldemar Birgersson married the Danish princess Sophia. Jdnkoping was afterwards the scene of many events of moment in Scandinavian history - of parliaments in 1 357, 1 439, and 1599; of the meeting of the Danish and Swedish plenipotentiaries in 1448; and of the death of Sten Sture, the elder, in 1503. In 1612 Gustavus Adolphus caused the inhabitants to destroy their town lest it should fall into the hands of the Danes; but it was rebuilt soon after, and in 1620 received special privileges from the king. At this period a textile industry was started here, the first of any importance in Sweden. It was from the Dutch and German workmen, introduced at this time, that the quarter Tyska Mad received its name. On the 10th of December 1809 the plenipotentiaries of Sweden and Denmark concluded peace in the town.

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