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city of the Sun, Sun city
|Founded by||King Charles IX|
|• Chairman of the Executive Board||Per-Samuel Nisser|
|• City||30.31 km2 (11.70 sq mi)|
|Elevation||64 m (210 ft)|
(2015 (city); 2015 (metro))
|• Density||2,035/km2 (5,270/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||(+46) 54|
Karlstad [ˈkɑːɭsta] is a city, the seat of Karlstad Municipality, the capital of Värmland County, and the largest city in the province Värmland in Sweden. The city had 61,492 inhabitants in 2015 with 90,882 inhabitants in the wider municipality in 2017, and is the 21st biggest municipality in Sweden. Karlstad has a university and a cathedral.
Karlstad is often associated with sunshine and the symbol for Karlstad is a smiling sun. Karlstad is reputed to be one of the sunniest towns in Sweden and a local waitress, known as "Sola i Karlstad" (the Sun in Karlstad) for her sunny disposition, is also commemorated with a statue.
Karlstad was granted its city charter on March 5, 1584, by the Swedish Duke Charles, who would later be crowned King Charles IX of Sweden. The city derives its name from the King – Karlstad literally means Charles' city. The Duke also granted Karlstad the right as a governmental seat in the region, and gave it a substantial amount of land.
The Duke built his own house in the city, which is referred to as Kungsgården (The King's Manor). Karlstad's Cathedral was built on the location Kungsgården in 1724–1730 by Christian Haller.
Then most significant coup d'état in modern Swedish history had its beginning in Karlstad. During the night of 7 March 1809, major general Georg Adlersparre used the part of the western army that was stationed in Värmland to occupy Karlstad. From there officially proclaimed a revolution, and during 9 March, he and his soldiers began their march toward the capital to end the reign of king Gustav IV Adolf.
Karlstad has suffered four major fires. Only the cathedral and a few houses remained after the last fire on July 2, 1865. Karlstad was thereafter rebuilt according to a grid pattern with wide streets surrounded by trees.
In 1905, the agreement to dissolve the union between Norway and Sweden was negotiated and signed in Karlstad.
Several upper secondary schools (gymnasium) offer the most common range of courses usually available throughout Sweden, including the IB Diploma Programme. The majority of students in Värmland need to commute or move to Karlstad for their upper secondary education. Tertiary education is offered by Karlstad University, which was granted university status in 1999.
Ice hockey is a highly popular spectator sport in Karlstad. The most popular club is Färjestad BK. The team plays in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL, highest level) and their home arena is Löfbergs Arena. The club has won the Swedish Championship several times, most recently in 2011, and is the most successful ice hockey club in Sweden since the foundation of Elitserien (Swedish Hockey League since 2013) in 1975. Several other ice hockey clubs exist and Karlstad is also represented in the 1st Division of ice hockey (3rd highest level) by the team Skåre BK. The 2010 Men's World Inline Hockey Championships was also hosted by Karlstad, with Löfbergs Arena as the primary site of the tournament.
Traditionally, bandy has been the most popular winter sport in Karlstad, and the city is the home of two of the historically most successful clubs in Sweden, IF Boltic and IF Karlstad-Göta. Boltic reached 10 Swedish finals in a row from 1979 to 1988. They won the first 7 and the one in 1988. They also won in 1995. In 2000, the two clubs merged into BS BolticGöta, which is now the major bandy club in Karlstad. After a successful season in Allsvenskan 2009/2010 the team qualified for Elitserien, but was again relegated for the 2011/2012 season. The home arena, Tingvalla Ice Stadium, built in 1967, is claimed to be one of Europe's largest artificially frozen areas and is currently awaiting a decision by the municipality to eventually become renovated and transformed into an indoor ice rink. Afghans living in Karlstad has taken a liking to the sport and set up an Afghanistan national bandy team, which is based in the city.
Several football clubs exist, and the highest-ranking team is QBIK. The club was founded in 1978, and entered the premier division of women's football, Damallsvenskan, in 2005. The team currently plays in the 1st Division (2nd highest level), but has several players in the Swedish national team. Their home ground is Tingvalla IP, and recently, the facility is also becoming the home ground for the football team Karlstad BK, that plays in the men's Division 1 Norra (3rd highest level), having gained promotion following a successful 2010 season. The third highest-ranking football team is Carlstad United. The club was founded in 1998 by an alliance of seven local football clubs, with the aim of providing Karlstad with an elite football team. The club was accepted by the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) in 1999 and the team is currently playing in the men's Division 2 Norra Götaland (4th highest level). FBK Karlstad play in Division 3 Västra Svealand.
American football is also played on Tingvalla IP. The Carlstad Crusaders play in Superserien, the highest level and since the founding of the club in 1990, the team has attended eight finals, winning its first championship in 2010.
Karlstad is also famous for athletics. The club IF Göta has a number of international athletes and host the annual athletics meet Götagalan. There is an outdoor athletics track at Tingvalla IP and an indoor track (200 m) in Våxnäshallen.
Sport facilities in Karlstad, open to public, are such as Klarälvsbanan, a 90 km (56 mi), asphalted former railway line, runs from Karlstad to Hagfors. It is popular among cyclists, inlines skaters and roller skiers.
There are also a large number of open-air bathing places, both in Vänern and other lakes in the municipality, and a 25-metre (82 ft) indoor swimming pool is provided by Sundstabadet.
Many sawdust jogging trails, some of which are lit, can be found in the city outskirts. During wintertime, several are transformed into trails for cross-country skiing.
Karlstad has a humid continental climate (Dfb) with influence from the surrounding waters of Vänern and the inflow from the Atlantic Ocean. It has large differences between seasons and is moderately influenced by both marine and land airflows. The highest recorded temperature since 1901 is 34.0°C (93.2°F) in July 1933 and the lowest is -36.0°C (-32.8°F) from February 1966.
|Climate data for Karlstad (temperatures 2002-2015; precipitation 1961-1990; extremes 1901-present)|
|Record high °C (°F)||10.2
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−2.6
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.1
|Record low °C (°F)||−32.5
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||46.1
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||47||70||174||220||254||287||265||223||181||103||48||44||1,916|
|Source #1: |
|Source #2: |
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Karlstad.|