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Gotland, or Gothlandia, is the largest island, and a historical province or landskap, of Sweden. It is located in the Baltic Sea to the east of Öland.

Area3,140 km²
Provincial flower
- in Swedish
- in Latin
English ivy[?]
Hedera helix
Provincial animalHedgehog

Table of contents

County For current affairs see: County of Gotland

The island province of Gotland is represented by the current administrative entity, the County of Gotland. The island is also a single municipality.

History Main article: History of Gotland[?]

Early on Gotland became a commerical center and the town of Visby was a member of the Hanseatic league. A civil war caused by conflicts between German merchants in Visby and the trading peasants on the countryside had to be put down by King Magnus I of Sweden in 1288. In 1361, Waldemar Atterdag of Denmark invaded the island. By the Treaty of Brömsebro[?] in 1645 the island was returned to Swedish rule.

Geography Main article: Geography of Gotland[?]

Visby, founded approximately around the year 1000, was the only chartered city of Gotland. Gotland in the Baltic Sea is located about 90 km off the Swedish mainland. The province also includes the minor islands of Fårö, the Karlsö islands and Gotska sandön.

Culture Main article: Culture of Gotland[?]

The medieval town of Visby has been entered as a site of the UNESCO World heritage program. An impressive feature of Visby is the fortress wall that surrounds the city, dating from the time of the Hanseatic League. Christopher Polhem[?] (1661-1751), the father of Swedish mechanical physics was born in Visby. He was also called the Archimedes of the north. The inhabitants of Gotland traditionally speak a distinct dialect of Swedish, known as Gutnish.

Heraldry Main article: Heraldry of Gotland[?]

Gotland was granted its arms in 1560, even though the island was at the time occupied by Danish forces. The coat of arms is represented with a dukal coronet. Blazon: "Azure a ram stantant Argent armed Or holding on a cross-staff of the same a banner Gules bordered and with five tails of the third."

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