Historic Gothenburg


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Soon after Gothenburg was founded in 1621, Sweden built Alvsborg Fortress at the mouth of the Gota Alv river to protect the newly-founded city and Sweden’s only access to the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Closer to the city, the fortress Skansen Kronan was built to help protect Gothenburg from Danish attack. And within the center, architects from The Netherlands were brought in to help design a canal system to facilitate trade and transport in the new city, similar to the canal rings in Amsterdam.

On our fourth day in Gothenburg, we took advantage of a forecast for sunny and warm weather to make a tender tour of the canals, visit Alvsborg Fortress, and tour the lush and secluded River Savean east of the city. Later that day, we took in a few view sites in town, including Skansen Kronan, and had a great evening in Gothenburg’s Haga district.

Below are trip highlights from August 31, 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Canal
Entering Gothenburg’s 17th-century canal system. Our tender barely clears the low bridges.
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Kampebron
Kampebron, first built in 1625, is one of the oldest bridges in Gothenburg.
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Gothenburg City Museum
The Gothenburg City Museum details 12,000 years of the area’s history in East Indian House, the former 18th-century headquarters of the Swedish East India Company.
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Bridges
Like Amsterdam, Gothenburg has a lot of bridges spanning it’s canals, many decorated with flower baskets.
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Lock
The outer canal is at a higher level than the inner canal, with a lock between them.
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Stora Nygatan
Handsome 19th-century buildings fronting the canal along Stora Nygatan.
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Kunsportsbron
Elegant Kunsportsbron crossing the Gothenburg canal.
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Tour Boats
We’ve seen a few very low-air-draft tour boats pass by the marina—this is their home base.
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Statue
One of Gothenburgs many statues, poised above the canal.
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Puzzle
One of the canal bridges had been temporarily removed along with the reinforcing banks. To ensure proper replacement of the historically-significant stonework, each was numbered with a line connecting it to the appropriate adjacent stone.
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Feskekorka
Feskekorka, a fish market in a building designed after a Viking church.
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Cranes
A view to the defunct gantry cranes along the north side of the Gota Alv river.
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Stena Carisma
Evidence that not all really excellent designs are economically a good idea. Stena built 4 high speed ferries where they took the “high speed” part seriously. The Carisma can carry 1,520 cars, at a 40 kt service speed and 50 kts when running wide open. In sea trials it delivered 51 kts running light. This is a truly amazing feat of engineering. Delivering these speeds required two GE LM2500 and two GE LM1600 gas turbines for a combined horsepower of 91,000 driving KaMeWa water gets.

The 40 kts service speed is highly appealing to customers and clearly beats all competitors but the lesson here is the same lesson many ship operators are learned: many customers get very interested in traveling at 40 kts but oftentimes, they are less interested in paying for it. As fuel prices rise, these 4 USD$80M boats become increasingly difficult to operate at a profit. None of the four are currently in operation and one of them was sold off so inexpensively it became office space in Turkey. These boats are wonderful examples of technology, but were economically unsuccessful.

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Sjomanstornet
The 230ft tower Sjomanstornet, topped with a statue of a seaman’s wife saying goodbye to her husband as he heads to sea, was erected in 1933.
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Eriksberg
The gantry crane from defunct shipbuilder Eriksbergs Mekaniska Verkstad. Founded in 1850, the yard was part of Gothenburg’s extensive shipbuilding industry that collapsed in the 1980s. The old dry dock is now a marina and much of the shipyard is now residential apartments.
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Alvsborg Bridge
The Alvsborg suspension bridge over the Gota Alv river, built in 1966.
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Goteborg Energi
The Goteborg Energi Rya Combined Heat and Power plant is unusual for a power plant in that it’s a beautiful structure. This plant is a relatively clean gas plant capable of 261MW of electricity and 294MW of heat. The plant is expected to be needed about 9 months each year and it will consume roughly 300 million cubic meters of gas during this 9 month period.
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Svitzer Tugs
The Svitzer Gaia and Geo on dock but fully crewed and running waiting for the next job. These two sister ships are both Faroe Island flagged tugs designed by the Svitzer in-house design team and built in Klaipeda, Lithuania. They are diesel electric designs with Schottel drive. By going with an all electric design, they eliminate the need for hydraulics and allow the system to operate using only the power needed. Ship assist tug customers want high power to ensure they ships are kept in control and each tug delivers 6,100 hp from 3 Wartsila 8L20. But, ship assist tugs spend most of their time waiting or moving between jobs when only relatively tiny amounts of power are needed. In this mode, they only need to run one of the three engines and they expect a 10% reduction in fuel consumption from this design with an 80% reduction in NOx emissions.
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Alvsborg Fortress
Alvsborg Fortress at the mouth of the Gota Alv river on the outskirts of Gothenburg. The fort was built in the mid-1600s to protect newly-founded Gothenburg and Sweden’s only access to the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean
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Fortress Interior
Looking north across the interior of Alvsborg Fortress.
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Port of Gothenburg
View to the Port of Gothenburg from Alvsborg Fortress. The Port of Gothenburg is the largest in Scandinavia with over 11,000 ships visiting annually from 140 different ports worldwide.
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Volvos
Rows and rows of brand new Volvos awaiting shipment by sea at the Port of Gothenburg.
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Langedrag Vardshus
An excellent lunch overlooking the water at Langedrag Vardshus.
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Sailboat Race
Every child in Gothenburg must race sailboats or it sure seems that way. It’s rare we see so many dinghy racers in a single race and operating in such close quarters. They were fun to watch.
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Elfsborg Fortress
View up to Elfsborg Fortress, built in the early 1900s and closed permanently after World War II.
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Ship unloading
Here cranes are simultaneously loading and unloading containers at the Gothenburg container port.
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Crane Operator
A view of a container crane operator that is rapidly and repeatedly picking up a container from directly below the crane. As the container quickly rises towards the operator he swings it out over the ship, clearing other container, and prepares to lower it into the ship. This requires great skill in that the operator has as much as 80,000 lbs literally swinging from cables and in motion in multiple dimensions.

The operator has to avoid the natural swinging of the container like a pendulum on the end of the cables. They do this by swinging the container past where they are planning to lower it into the ship. They then cancel the swing by moving rapidly back again towards shore and then outward again to where they want to lower the container.

They want to be efficient so this pendulum cancelling dance is done while the container is on the way down with a goal of having it stable with no swing before the container gets down to the level of the container stacks. As it reaches the stacks, they slow to make final adjustments, do the final lower, and then gently place the container on the stack aligned with all the other containers in the group.

With a press of the button, that container is released and the next is picked up so that the swing back to the shore will be taking a container off, fully utilizing each movement of the crane. It’s a high-precision ballet performed with 80,000 lb containers with the operator way above the ship at the top of the crane making minute adjustments using joystick controls looking through a glass floor.

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Gotheborg
Gotheborg, a 2000s replica of the Swedish East India Company ship Gotheborg I that was launched in 1738. The 190ft (58m) ship is one of the world’s largest operational wooden sailing vessels.
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Poseidon
The impressive Swedish Coast Guard multi-purpose vessel Poseidon is a sister-ship to Amfitrite that we saw in Karlskrona earlier in the year.
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Dirona
Dirona at Goteborgs Gasthamn as we pass by in the tender.
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River Savean
Running the tender up the lush and secluded river Savean northeast of Gothenburg.
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Boathouses
Colorful boathouses along the river Savean.
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Masthuggskyrkan
After our tender tour, we returned to Gothenburg on foot to take in some views. This is the interior of the church Masthuggskyrkan. Complete in 1914 high on a hilltop above Gothenburg, the church has long been a landmark for those arriving into the city from the sea.
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View from Masthuggskyrkan
The sweeping view across Gothenburg from the Masthuggskyrkan grounds (click image for larger view).
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Classic Car
Classic American cars are very popular in Sweden. We see them everywhere.
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Brewers Beer Bar
A refreshing pint streetside at Brewers Beer Bar in Gothenburg’s Haga district.
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Tacos & Tequila
An excellent meal on the terrace at Tacos & Tequila in Gothenburg’s Haga district. The restaurant is incredibly popular and had a line-up almost the entire time we were there.
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Tacos & Tequila Interior
The interior of Tacos & Tequila is as appealing as the exterior.
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Tredje Langgatan
Restaurant-lined Tredje Langgatan in Gothenburg’s Haga district. The district is the oldest suburb in the city, dating to the mid-1600s, and now is full of restaurants, boutiques and trendy shops.
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Skansen Kronan
The redoubt (enclosed fortress) Skansen Kronan was built in the late 1600s to help protect Gothenburg from Danish attack.
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Skansen Kronan View
Great view to Gothenburg from Skansen Kronan.
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Hagakyrkan
Hagakyrkan, consecrated in 1859.
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Kopparmarra
Kopparmarra, a statue of Karl IX , in Kungsporten square.
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Gustaf Adolfs Square
Statue in Gustaf Adolfs of king Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, the founder of Gothenburg.
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Sunset
Another beautiful sunset over the Gota Alv river as we arrive back at the marina.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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