Rich in historical evidence (the archaeological sites of Birka and Hovgården have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO) and civilly evolved, Sweden has been able to place its extraneousness to conflicts at the service of cultural growth, giving the world the talent of personality such as scientist A. Nobel, writer J. August Strindberg, great statesman Olof Palme and film director Ingmar Bergman. What is striking about Swedish culture is its heterogeneity, which has allowed it to offer, over the course of the various historical periods, evidence of excellence in various disciplines: from the ancient runic stones of the island of Gotland to the seventeenth-century poems of Georg Striernhielm, from the architectural and historical evidence left by the Vasa dynasty to Stockholm’s Art Nouveau architecture and to the extravagant objects of modern industrial design. Despite the high standard of living that characterizes it, Sweden has never renounced its traditions, indeed it has always preserved them with passion and rigor. Tangible proof of this attitude is, for example, the Skansen park in Stockholm (established at the beginning of the twentieth century), which houses perfect reproductions of the rural houses of the various regions of Sweden. furnished with period furniture and objects and populated by figures who wear traditional costumes and dedicate themselves to ancient crafts. In Sweden, culture has been able to develop freely for centuries in a serene and non-elitist climate, enhancing minorities (as evidenced by the Nordiska Museet of the capital, dedicated to the Sami ethnic group and other Nordic peoples) and guaranteeing the universal enjoyment of knowledge to citizens. According to globalsciencellc, the organization of the numerous museums, at the forefront of the world, reflects this attitude, with installations that are able to deeply involve the observer, arousing his curiosity and stimulating his desire to know. The pride of the meritorious Swedish cultural tradition is the awarding of the Nobel Prize – named after the scientist of the same name – to the most eminent personalities of science, culture and international diplomacy, which takes place in Stockholm on an annual basis. While remaining the beating heart of the country’s cultural life, the capital does not hold a monopoly: other well-known universities are those of Uppsala (the oldest in Sweden, founded in 1477), Lund (1668), Gothenburg (1829, 1891), Umeå (1963) and Linköping (1970). 13 are the sites registered in the UNESCO lists as a World Heritage Site: the best known are the archaeological sites of Birka and Hovgården (1993), important evidence of Viking settlements and trade and of the first evangelization by the German monk Ansgar, Drottningholm Castle (1991), residence of the royal family and the Hanseatic town of Visby (1995), the best preserved medieval city in the whole country.
In many respects Sweden (Sverige probably derives from the Svear – Svioni – rulers of the region in Roman times) can be considered a model state. Its image as a democratic, peaceful and socially avant-garde country, however, hides a stormy past, which saw it, in the sec. XVII and XVIII, committed to attempting to extend its dominion over the entire Baltic Sea, of which it has always dominated the entire western shore, and over northern Germany, very close to the southern cusp of the country. Having abandoned the typical ambitions of a great political and military power, whose history strongly influenced that of the European continent, in 1818 Sweden chose the path of neutrality in the international field and the search for the well-being of the community within its own borders. The renunciation of wars and power politics was decided precisely in the period of industrialization, during which the country could count not only on an enterprising bourgeoisie, but on the exploitation of conspicuous natural resources. Almost two centuries of “enlightened peace” have produced a prosperity that is unique in the world, characterized by very high living standards, by a secure and stable democracy, by public and private institutions at the peak of efficiency, by a widespread diffusion of culture, by the maximum respect for the equality of all citizens and their rights and effective collaboration between parties, trade unions and business organizations. Largest, most populous and richest state in Scandinavia, in a certain sense it sums up its essence, also acting as a hinge between the states of old Europe and those overlooking the Baltic, which look to Sweden as an example of wealth and well-being. National politics rests on a strongly consolidated structure of reformist socialism, free from world power blocs, which has achieved excellent social results: free health care and education, an eight-hour working day and a vote for women established as early as 1918. just some of the achievements made possible by the Swedish model. Impeccable in compliance with the rules and in a civic sense, the country adhered late (1995) and lukewarmly to the an eight-hour working day and a vote for women established as early as 1918 are just some of the achievements made possible by the Swedish model. Impeccable in compliance with the rules and in a civic sense, the country adhered late (1995) and lukewarmly to the an eight-hour working day and a vote for women established as early as 1918 are just some of the achievements made possible by the Swedish model. Impeccable in compliance with the rules and in a civic sense, the country adhered late (1995) and lukewarmly to the European Union, remaining outside the single currency and in general observing with distrust the centralizing policies of the new supranational body.