City History: Malmö

Malmö is nowadays one of the biggest cities in Sweden, holding place three in total regarding the inhabitants. Nevertheless, Malmö was part of Denmark some decades ago and an interesting area for Vikings. Moreover, Malmö had undergone changes in regard to religion as well and was first mentioned in the 13th century. Where the reasons lie will be clarified in this city history about Malmö.

Originally, the very first inhabitants of Malmö were hunters living in an arctic climate, living in an Stone Age settlement. Fishing, especially salted herring, was an important industry to meet the needs of food in Europe, Denmark and Sweden.

Perfect location for Vikings

South in the Malmö region lies Forteviken, a well-known battle area in the 12th century. The reason for that is that the Vikings were warriors as well as merchants.

Malmö benefits from a unique location

Malmö benefits from a unique location in Sweden

Due to this, the Malmö region is pretty much perfect to set off to England, Iceland and everywhere in the Middle East.

Christianization from 1000 to 1300

When Denmark’s King Harald Blåtand ruled, his country was christianed, which means that churches were built, like the St. Petri church.

Church St. Petri

Church St. Petri

In this era, Malmö was first mentioned in church records, exactly be dated at 1270.

Ruled by Sweden, Denmark and the Hanseatic League

As I mentioned before, the export of salted herring was very important, so under the rule of Sweden, Denmark and the Hanseatic League, Malmö became an important commercial center.

Religious conflicts: The Reformation

Not only in Germany, but also in Denmark, the reformation was leading and played a leading role.

Religion played an important role in Malmös past

Religion played an important role in Malmös past

Christian Pederson is the man who translated the New Testament new, and a Lutheran priest called Claus Mortensen was from Malmö as well.

Becoming Swedish

Apart from Malmö, Denmark lost Skåne, Halland, Blekinge and some others according to the peace in Roskilde to Sweden. However, this peace was signed in 1658. Not only cities like London had to fight with some plaques and epidemics, but also the Swedish Malmö as well. As a consequence, many of the citizens died because of the plaque in 1712.

Harbor, industry and the 20th century

An improving commerce helped and allowed the city to grow. But one condition was a very important step to make this possible: To rebuild the harbor, which happened in 1775. Due to this, cranes, lighthouses, shipyards and a direct link to the railway could be financed. Another great improvement was a steam boat, which first connected Malmö, Copenhagen and Lübeck in 1828.


Industry played an important role in the growth of Malmö

Industry played an important role in the growth of Malmö

Getting an important industry town in northern Europe, Malmö became the third largest city of Sweden about 1870. In the 20th century, further buildings continued, such like beautiful parks, the university and the airport, just to name a few.


Nowadays, Malmö is a very popular city for tourists, as it is really beautiful and still kept the charme of a cute little Swedish town.

On the Öresund Bridge

On the Öresund Bridge

Especially the Öresund-Bridge makes it possible to reach Malmö within about half an hour from the huge international airport of Copenhagen!


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