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Örnsköldsvik in 2005
Örnsköldsvik in 2005
Nickname(s): Ö-vik, Foppaland
Örnsköldsvik is located in Sweden
Country Sweden
Province Ångermanland
County Västernorrland County
Municipality Örnsköldsvik Municipality
 • City 24.40 km2 (9.42 sq mi)
 • Metro 6,420.97 km2 (2,479.15 sq mi)
Elevation 18 m (59 ft)
Population (31 December 2010)[1]
 • City 28,991
 • Density 1,188/km2 (3,080/sq mi)
 • Metro 55,284
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 89x xx
Area code(s) (+46) 660
Website .se.ornskoldsvikwww

Örnsköldsvik is a locality and the seat of Örnsköldsvik Municipality in Västernorrland County, Sweden, with 28,991 inhabitants in 2010.[1]

Its natural harbour and archipelago is in the Gulf of Bothnia and the northern boundaries of the High Coast area. It is well known as an exporter of pulp and paper products and heavy machinery goods. It has a strong environmental record and is the "testbed" for ethanol powered cars.


  • History 1
  • Örnsköldsvik Municipality 2
  • Economy 3
  • Education 4
  • Transportation 5
  • Recreation and sports 6
  • Notable natives 7
  • International relations 8
    • Twin towns — Sister cities 8.1
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Illustration of Örnsköldsvik in 1861.

The name comes from Governor Per Abraham Örnsköld (1762–1769) and literally translated means Eagle-shield's-bay (Örn-skölds-vik).

Traces of human activity in the area date back to the Nordic Bronze Age, and there is a reconstructed iron age village called Gene fornby, which is a popular tourist attraction, just outside of the town. Örnsköldsvik itself is however a relatively young city, it was founded as a market town (a köping) in 1842 and became a city in 1894.

Örnsköldsvik Municipality

The town of Örnsköldsvik is the centre of Örnsköldsviks Kommun or Örnsköldsvik Municipality. The Municipality has a much larger population than the town itself, at over 55,000 inhabitants, as the municipality is vast with very large forest areas, and consists of several rural communities.


Historically, the most important economic activity was trade and heavy industry. In the surrounding villages (now incorporated into the city itself) two major industrial ventures arose: Modo, a pulp, paper, logging enterprise and Hägglunds, a heavy industrial company. Even today the successors to these two companies are of huge importance for the city. M-real (ex-Modo) runs one of Europe's largest pulp mills in the village of Husum, 30 km north of Örnsköldsvik City, Domsjö Fabriker[2] (another ex-Modo mill) runs a specialty cellulose mills in Örnsköldsvik, while Hägglunds is split into several companies, including BAE Systems Hägglunds, now a subsidiary of BAE Systems. Other notable companies based in Örnsköldsvik include Svensk Etanolkemi, a producer of ethanol products, and Fjällräven, a manufacturer of outdoor equipment and clothing.


In Örnsköldsvik there are presently no universities.

The asteroid 6795 Örnsköldsvik, found in 1993 by Swedish astronomers at the European Southern Observatory, was named after the city.


The European route E4 runs through downtown Örnsköldsvik

Main road transportation is provided by the European route E4. Örnsköldsvik Airport provides daily flights to and from Stockholm-Arlanda Airport courtesy of Höga Kusten Flyg, and also charter flights to Turkey courtesy of Pegasus Airlines.

The terminal building was recently upgraded to allow for some international services. The runway was extended to allow service for larger aircraft.

Railway transportation is provided by the recently opened main line Botniabanan.

Botniabanan is currently open on only a portion of its total stretch, but will in the future connect Örnsköldsvik and nearby Umeå with passenger services to Stockholm in around four hours of travel time.

There is also a harbor, where cargo ships load and unload timber and other merchandise. Prior to Sweden's joining the European Union, Örnsköldsvik had a direct ferry connection to Vaasa, Finland. This ceased operation after entry into the European Union along with the abolition of tax-free trade between the member states. The harbor now rarely sees passenger traffic on any large scale.

Being situated on the European route E4, the city is well connected with bus lines. A coastal line from Haparanda in the north to Stockholm makes regular stops at the bus depot in Örnsköldsvik. A cross-country route to Östersund starts and terminates at Örnsköldsvik bus depot.

Recreation and sports

View towards the seaside

Due to the hilly surroundings, hiking and exploring the scenery of the High Coast is popular in the area. In the wintertime skiing and ice hockey are both popular. Both cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and also ski jumping are practiced in the downtown area. In international sports, the town is also known for having hosted the inaugural Winter Paralympic Games, in 1976. The 2008 European Curling Championships also took place there.

Since Örnsköldsvik is a coastal town, there are also beaches near town, as well as campsites. There is also an indoor water park called Paradisbadet, with one of the longest water slides in Europe.

The main spectator sport in the town is ice hockey, with the local team Modo Hockey in the Swedish Hockey League, the main league for ice hockey in Sweden. IF Friska Viljor has been successful in ski jumping and the ski jumping hill Paradiskullen is a local landmark, visible from downtown. The local football teams aren't quite as successful, but still popular. On the men's side especially the teams Friska Viljor FC from central Örnsköldsvik and Anundsjö IF from Bredbyn outside of town, and women's Själevads IK. A couple of floorball teams from town have also had some success.

A new golf course, Veckefjärdens Golf Club, to the south of the centre is owned by local celebrity ice hockey player Peter Forsberg.

The islands surrounding the coastal area of Örnsköldsvik are big tourist attractions which can be reached by ferry.

Notable natives

Örnsköldsvik is the birthplace of many world-famous ice hockey players, including Peter Forsberg, Markus Näslund, Niklas Sundström, Victor Hedman, Tobias Enström, and the twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The Sedin twins are currently top players for the Vancouver Canucks. Many stars from hockey's previous generation, including Anders Hedberg, Thomas Gradin, and Anders Kallur were also either Örnsköldsvik natives (Hedberg) and/or played in the town for the Modo Hockey club.

Malin Moström, former captain of the Sweden women's national football team is also a native of Örnsköldsvik.

Miah Persson, a Swedish soprano, active internationally and in recordings.

Magdalena Forsberg, cross country skier and biathlete.

Hans Hedberg, sculptor known for his ceramic fruit.

Märta Norberg, cross country skier at the end of the 1940s and beginning of the 1950s.

Tomas Haake and Mårten Hagström, members of (drummer and rhythm guitarist) the Swedish technical metal band Meshuggah.

Thomas Hammarberg, diplomat and human rights activist.

Niklas Edin, skip (curling) of the Swedish curling team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Fredrik Lindström, Swedish biathlete.

Staffan Götestam, Swedish actor and musician

Per Marklund, internationally recognized luthier.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Örnsköldsvik is twinned with:

M/S Silver Shadow visiting Örnsköldsvik, with Swedbank Arena (now Fjällräven Center) in the background.
The town square Stora Torget in central Örnsköldsvik.

Örnsköldsvik's sister cities are:


  1. ^ a b c 2005 och 2010"2"Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km (in Swedish).  
  2. ^ Domsjö website

External links

  • Örnsköldsvik - Official site
  • Örnsköldsvik - Visitor Guide
  • (English) Örnsköldsvik Tourist Information
  • (Swedish) Mid-Sweden University College at Örnsköldsvik
  • (English) Umeå University Campus Örnsköldsvik
  • (English) Örnsköldsvik Airport
  • (Swedish) Örnsköldsvikarticle from Nordisk Familjebok (1922).
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