The attractive town centre, with its cultural heritage, characterises Örebro. The centre reminds us of the times when Örebro was founded on the gravel banks that made up the fjord where the medieval traffic through the kingdom crossed the river Svartå. Örebro – with its 95,000 inhabitants – is Sweden’s sixth largest town. About 140,000 people live in the municipality of Örebro and the city is the main city of Örebro County.
In the 13th century a bridge over Svartån, which was called ”Örebron,” after ”ör,” the old Swedish word for ”rolling” gravel, was built. Nearby, a town soon developed into a commercial center. Already during the 14th century traders gathered in late January for the large Hindersmässan (Hinders Trade Fair), which is an event that has continued until our days as one of the major, annual events in Örebro.
Owing to its central location in the middle of Svealand, Örebro has often been an eye-catcher through the years. At a meeting at the castle in the New Year of 1540, Gustav Vasa introduced the hereditary monarchy. Count Karl, Gustav Vasa’s son (subsequently King Karl IX), frequently visited Örebro. In the late 17th century, he transformed the old medieval castle into a grandiose Vasa castle, where several sessions of the realm and other dramatic episodes later took place. Even King Gustav II Adolf often visited Örebro, and likewise held a session of the realm at the palace in 1617.
After a quiet 18th century, Örebro was hit by two devastating city fires in 1840 and 1854. In the latter, the major part of the inner city was destroyed and from the ashes, the modern Örebro rose. A new city plan was created and along the barren streets wonderfully decorated houses were built.
Örebro grew much during the second half of the 19th century. The city became a centre of the Swedish shoe industry, an epoch that did not end till the early 1980s, when the last shoe factories were closed. By then the city had already changed from industrial city to a centre for commerce, logistics and education. It boasts a university with more than 14,000 students as well as educational institutions at lower levels within most areas. The central location, which once contributed to the foundation of the city has meant that today many companies have chosen to place their central warehouses in Örebro. The airport is also the fourth biggest, Swedish airport for shipping.
Örebro is also a tourist city with many visitors. The Gustavvik site draws about 700,000 guests every year, and during the summer the inner city is full of sidewalk restaurants, many of which are found in the fantastic environment in the neighbourhood around the palace. To have a fine view of it all you can walk up to the water tower ”Svampen.”
The river Svartån puts its stamp on Örebro as it winds through the city. Along the river you will find waterfalls, parks and gardens. Do go for a walk along the nature path to the waterfalls and remember to visit Sweden’s oldest power station and old Kvarnen. Tekniska Kvarnen Insikten offers interesting and instructive experiments for adults and youngsters, and here you will also find one of Sweden’s largest model railways. You should also certainly visit the open-air museum of Wadköping and its arts and crafts booths and shops.