Below, goteborgbio.se offers a brief introduction to the city of Gothenburg during the 18th century.

18th Century Gothenburg

Established as a settlement on Sweden’s southwest shoreline in the 1620s, it was not until the following century (18th century) that Gothenburg experienced many of the significant events that would shape it into the city it is today.

Previously, fishing was big business in Gothenburg and the region’s main source of income. However, once the Swedish East India Company was established in the country, the city of Gothenburg quickly developed into the country’s main and largest harbour, partially thanks to its strategic coastal position and close proximity to neighbouring Nordic countries.

The East India Company enabled goods, mostly imported from exotic South Asian countries, to pass through Gothenburg on their way on to the rest of Europe. As a result, the city really started to prosper at this time, and the 19th century saw the construction of many prominent government buildings, educational institutes and an expansion of the city’s infrastructure.

However, much of the development in which Gothenburg experienced throughout the 18th century was either destroyed by fire, knocked down or fell into ruin, and the once-thriving import industry was soon taken over by more profitable sectors during the following century, such as manufacturing and industry. Still many of the 19th-century buildings can be seen today (albeit in poor condition), such as the Comediehuset, the first theater in the city, Societetsskolan, the first school open to females, and the original headquarters of the Swedish East India Company.

More information on 19th Century Gothenburg can be found here.