Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. In spite of the high latitude, Sweden often has warm continental summers, being located in between the North Atlantic, the Baltic Sea, and vast Russia. The general climate and environment vary significantly from the south and north due to the vast latitudinal difference, and much of Sweden has reliably cold and snowy winters. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested and includes a portion of the Scandinavian Mountains.
Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats (Swedish: Götar) and Swedes (Svear) and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the dominance of the Hanseatic League in Northern Europe threatened Scandinavia economically and politically. This led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years' War on the Protestant side, an expansion of its territories began and eventually the Swedish Empire was formed. This became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809. The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814 when Norway was militarily forced into a personal union, which peacefully dissolved in 1905. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. In 2014, Sweden celebrated 200 years of peace, breaking even Switzerland's record for peace. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, although Sweden has since 2009 openly moved towards cooperation with NATO. (Full article...)
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The Broe helmet (also known as the Broa helmet) is a decorated iron helmet from around the Vendel Period. Discovered around 1904 in a cremation grave in Broe, a farm on the Swedish island Gotland, it was located alongside other items including fragments of shields, weapons, bridles, and game pieces. Due to its extremely fragmented condition, only an incomplete reconstruction of the helmet is possible, but it appears to have been an example of the "crested helmets" that flourished in England and Scandinavia from the sixth through eleventh centuries.
A full speculative reconstruction was attempted in 1969, suggesting a cap made in segments, with brow and nose-to-nape bands; pieces of metal attached to the brow band likely provided neck, cheek, and face protection. The nose-to-nape band was decorated with ornamental bronze sheeting, and an eyebrow piece, which survives in full and also featured animal-head terminals, was inlaid with strips of a material such as silver. This appearance is generally consistent with the contemporaneous Vendel XIV helmet, which the Broe example may have looked somewhat similar to. (Full article...)
The terrace in the eastern end, called Strömparterren ("The Stream Parterr"), is a public park with a restaurant dating from 1832, while the flight of stairs leading down to the water is from 1807–1810. The quay west of the Riksdag Building once surrounded Sweden's central bank Sveriges Riksbank and was thus named Bankkajen ("The Bank Quay"), while the streets on southern and northern sides are called Norra/Södra Helgeandstrappan ("The Northern/Southern Helgeand Stairs"), all of them named in 1925. (Full article...)
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"Habits (Stay High)" is a song recorded by Swedish singer Tove Lo from her debut extended play (EP), Truth Serum, and her debut studio album, Queen of the Clouds (2014). It was written by Lo with Ludvig Söderberg and Jakob Jerlström, while it was produced by the latter two under the production name The Struts. Initially, the singer self-released the song under the title "Habits" on 15 March 2013 as her second independently released single. After Lo was signed to Universal Music, the track was re-released on 6 December 2013 under the title of "Habits (Stay High)" as both the second single from Truth Serum and the lead single from Queen of the Clouds. Musically, it is a pop and electropop song which features a minimal and upbeatelectronic instrumentation. Its lyrics delve into the singer's attempts to forget her previous boyfriend through substance abuse, drinking and other hedonistic practices. Consequently, some critics and Lo herself noted a contrast between the song's production and its lyrical content.
"Habits (Stay High)" was well received by most critics, who commended its lyrics and production. The track became a sleeper hit; it entered the music charts in 2014, one year after its original release. The recording peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and became the highest-charting song by a Swedish artist on that chart since "The Sign" by Ace of Base peaked at number one in 1994. It was certified 5× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold over 2.6 million copies in the country. Additionally, the track topped the charts in Poland and Romania, and peaked within the top ten in Austria, Canada, France and Switzerland, among others. (Full article...)