NORRBOTTEN (Swedish: ), known in English as NORTH BOTHNIA , is a
Swedish province (landskap) in northernmost
Sweden . It borders south
Västerbotten , west to Swedish Lapland , and east to
* 1 Administration
* 2 Heraldry
* 3 History
* 4 Population
* 5 Culture
* 6 Sports
* 7 References
* 8 External links
The traditional provinces of
Sweden serve no administrative or
political purposes, but are historical and cultural entities. In this
case, however, the county is older than the province. When the new
national border to the Russian Grand Duchy of
Finland formed, the
province split in two, and formed the municipalities of
Tornio , and
Ylitornio . However, Finnish Norrbotten
is not recognized enough as its own historical province, so it's
usually merged instead with Ostrobothnia , however leaving out Muonio
to Laponia . The northernmost of the counties of
Sweden were created
in 1810 consisting of the northern parts of Lappland and Västerbotten
. After that, northern
Västerbotten has gradually evolved as a
province of its own.
Not being one of the old historical provinces of
had not been granted a coat of arms in the same way as the others. As
recently as 1995, after decades of controversy,
Norrbotten got its
arms, thus recognized as a "real" province.
Middle ages , the area was sparsely populated by Sami
people , who lived on hunting, fishing and reindeer herding. From the
Middle Ages and forward, the Swedish kings tried hard to colonise and
Christianize the area. Settlers from Finland, the most important of
which were known as
Birkarls , controlled the trade and even the
taxing on the area long into the 16th century. From the mid-16th
century, the area was more firmly tied to Sweden. An important sign of
Swedish control was the large Nederluleå stone church from 1492.
Still today, Finnish and Sami minorities live in
Norrbotten and they
have kept their culture and language.
Västerbotten was the denomination for northern Sweden,
together with the Lappland areas. The Eastern Botten or Ostrobothnia
was in the Finnish side.
Cultural identification in
Sweden is closely related to the
historical provinces , and the people in
Norrbotten live in this sense
Västerbotten , or Norra Västerbotten. In order not to be
confused with people from Southern Västerbotten, i.e. the coastal
Västerbotten County , they started to identify themselves
with the county rather than with the historical province.
Norrbotten had gradually become synonymous with the area that was
previously referred to as northern Västerbotten. It started to evolve
as a separate province. During the 20th century it got all of the
symbols (animals, flowers etc.) which are assigned to the other
provinces of Sweden. But there was still some resistance to the idea
Norrbotten being a province.
As recently as 1995, after decades of debate,
Norrbotten was granted
a coat of arms , thus at last being fully recognized as one of
The coat of arms symbolizes the four large rivers in
drain into the
Gulf of Bothnia :
Torne River ,
Kalix River , Lule
Pite River .
The summers can bring surprisingly warm temperatures for such
northerly altitudes, and as a matter of fact,
Norrbotten holds the
all-time high record for the entire
Norrland ; +37°C (98°F).
As of December 31, 2009, the population is 192,542, distributed over
26,671 km2, which gives a density of 7.2 inhabitants/km2.
Norrbotten has around 8,000 ancient remains. Languages spoken in the
province include Swedish (including
North Swedish regiolects),
Meänkieli , Finnish , and Sami . Some
Meänkieli speakers have
gradually been considering themselves part of the Kven people, which
supposedly arrived to the area much earlier than the Swedish settlers.
The Church Village of
Luleå has been named a
World heritage site
World heritage site .
Football in the province (and
Norrbotten County as a whole) is
Norrbottens Fotbollförbund . Ice hockey is also