• Sweden's news in English

Is Gävle Sweden's most random city?

The Local · 25 Dec 2015, 09:25

Published: 25 Dec 2015 09:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Dec 2015 09:25 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sweden has many hidden gems and Gävle definitely fits in the category. Despite being home to 100,000 citizens, it rarely grabs international headlines. But it has made its mark. Here are seven very random facts about the unique city.

1. It is the home of Sweden's straw yule goat, Gävlebocken (The Gävle Goat)

Gävles most famous celebrity is without doubt Gävlebocken (The Gävle Goat). The huge animal is put up every Christmas and last year travelled all the way to China afterwards. As much as the goat itself is a tradition, so is burning it down. So far the goat has been set on fire more than 30 times by locals and the different ways of setting the three tonne straw goat on fire seem to get more creative each year. The goat also has its own Twitter, Instagram and blog

The Gävle Goat is Gävle's most famous celebrity. Photo: Gävle Kommun

2. The world famous coffee Gevalia is from Gävle

It's no secret that Swedes are obsessed with coffee, and Gävle is the home of the world famous coffee company Gevalia, which roasts 200 tonnes of the brown stuff everyday. The line "när du får oväntat besök" (when you get unexpected visit) is well known among Swedes. If you don't drink Gevalia when you live in Gävle, you break a really serious unwritten rule. 

3. Gävle is the birth place of Ahlgrens bilar and Läkerol 
Gävle is also home to some of Sweden's most popular candy. The company behind Ahlgrens bilar (which is sold with the tagline "Sweden's most bought car") and the pastille Läkerol started life in the city. Gävle's ice hockey arena used to be called 'Läkerol Arena'. 

Ahlgrens bilar is from Gävle. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT 
4. Cat Stevens used to live there
This is probably the most random fact about the city. The globally renowned singer and songwriter Cat Stevens lived in Gävle with his Swedish mother after his parents got divorced. He went to one of the town's local schools for six months. He once gave an interview with popular Scandinavian talkshow Skavlan, describing his time in Gävle as amazing, because it made him realise that he was a star. 

Cat Stevens used to live in Gävle. Photo: Chris Pizzello/TTnyhetsbyrån
5. You can fish for salmon and sea trout for free, in the city centre
The river Gavleån runs right through Gävle, which give the locals the luxury of being able to fish for salmon and sea trout in the middle of the city. However you need a valid ID card and a ‘fish card’ to prove that you know what rules to follow. The city wants to keep this luxury and are officials aren't keen on newcomers rocking up and doing things the wrong way.

In Gävle City you can fish for salmon. Photo: Gävle Kommun
6. Gävle Concert Hall is a giant bathroom covered in 169,000 blue tiles
To find bathroom tiles in most cities you need to go into someone's bathroom. In Gävle there are 169,000 of them inside a concert hall. The largest room in the concert hall is called The Gevalia Room (yes, we told you locals are very proud of their coffee) and can fit up to 819 people. The hall is also the home of one of Sweden’s seven symphony orchestras and will in 2016 feature performances with some of Sweden's hottest pop icons including Seinabo Sey and Miriam Bryant. 
Story continues below…

Gävle Concert Hall is covered in 169.00 tiles. Photo: Gävle Kommun
7. Gävle hosts one of Sweden's biggest city parks
It is not exactly New York's Central Park, but Gävle’s Boulongerskogen is a stunning green space close to the river Gavleån, and it is one of Sweden’s biggest city parks. Here you can enjoy mini golf, go for a swim in the river, participate in some of the training sessions organized in the park during summer, or simply enjoy a nice crisp walk over the winter. 

Take a walk in Gävle's city park. Photo: Gävle Kommun
Article by The Local's intern Emma Lidman

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Here's how slow Sweden's high-speed trains are getting
A Swedish SJX2000 high speed train. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

The high-speed rail journey between the three biggest Swedish cities is about to get longer.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

US election
Donald Trump won't get new Ericsson head's vote
Trump pictured at a campaign rally in Florida. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

The new Swedish-American boss of telecoms giant Ericsson has revealed he will not vote for the Republican nominee in the forthcoming US presidential election.

Swedes named fourth most gender equal in the world
A file photo of men and women pushing prams in Stockholm. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Sweden has closed 81 percent of its overall gender gap according to the World Economic Forum.

Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available