Follow us on a historical tour along the Göta river, maybe the most important watercourse in Sweden. Since the early Middle Ages its outflow through the Älvsborg fjord and further into Kattegatt has been of strategic importance to Nordic leaders and kings. Controlling the river also meant controlling Swedish trade routes to the West. Much blood has been shed in the fights for power, riches and prestige. The Göta river valley was a border area, war-torn for centuries.
The area’s contact with the west has a long story. Exchange with the Mediterranean cultures started probably as early as in the later Bronze Age. The rock carvings in Alvhem include ships that bear a remarkable resemblance to pictures of contemporary Greek ships. Two thousand years old artifacts resembling finds from the Black Sea area have been unearthed in Vittene outside Trollhättan.
Göta river’s water falls have been a source of energy as well as a barrier. Sea transports were delayed by the cumbersome transloading in Trollhättan and Lilla Edet. With time the need for controlling the river with locks increased. Work started in the late 16th century but real results were not seen until the construction of the Trollhätte canal, which was taken in use in the year 1800.
Since the 17th century the Gothenburg area has been in Swedish possession, and its importance for trade and industrialization had been of major importance for Sweden. Some times were hard and Gothenburg has also a history of class struggle, and more than one million persons have left Gothenburg to seek a new life in the United States.
The guide tells stories from the history with animated films, texts and images.