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A map of SwedenA map of Sweden Sweden is one of three Scandinavian countries. The others are Norway and Denmark. Sweden has borders with Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast, and is connected to the Danish island of Sjaelland by the Öresund bridge. It is a long country, stretching down the eastern half of the Scandinavian Peninsula, which it shares with Norway. Along the Norwegian border, the land rises to high, snow-capped mountains. This northern region is heavily forested, and can get very cold in winter. Southern Sweden is flatter and has a milder climate. The country is dotted with more than 95,000 lakes, where meltwaters have filled basins carved out by retreating glaciers during the last Ice Age. Sweden’s latitude means that much of the country experiences short days in winter and longer hours of daylight in summer. The northernmost part of Sweden, about 15% of the country’s total area, lies within the Arctic Circle.

A map of SwedenA map of Sweden
Turning Torso, Malmö Turning Torso, Malmö

Lands of Sweden

Traditionally, Sweden is divided into three parts or "lands", each made up of a collection of provinces. Götaland ("Land of the Götar") is the southern, most densely populated part. Svealand ("Land of the Swedes") is the central part. The capital of Sweden—including the modern capital Stockholm—has been situated here at least since the late Middle Ages. Norrland ("Northlands") is the northern part, by far the largest of the three, covering 60% of the total Swedish territory. The three northernmost provinces are sometimes called Övre (Upper) Norrland, while the rest are called Nedre (Lower) Norrland.

Sweden has a policy of neutrality, which means that it does not take sides in foreign wars. It has not been involved in any war for nearly 200 years.

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