Bohuslän (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈbuːhʉːsˌlɛːn] (listen), Danish/Norwegian: Båhuslen) is a Swedish province in Götaland, on the northernmost part of the country's west coast. It is bordered by Dalsland to the northeast, Västergötland to the southeast, the Skagerrak arm of the North Sea to the west, and the county of Østfold, in Norway, to the north.

Bohuslän is named after the medieval Norwegian castle of Bohus. Under the name Baahuslen, it was a Norwegian county from the Norwegian conquest of the region from the Geats and subsequent unification of the country in the 870s until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, when the union of Denmark-Norway was forced to cede this county, as well as Skåneland (part of Denmark proper) to Sweden.

As of 31 December 2016, the number of inhabitants was 299,087,[1] giving a population density of 68 inhabitants per square kilometre (180/sq mi).

Coat of arms of Bohuslän

Coat of arms
Sverigekarta-Landskap Bohuslän
Coordinates: 58°14′53″N 11°53′13″E / 58.248°N 11.887°ECoordinates: 58°14′53″N 11°53′13″E / 58.248°N 11.887°E
Country Sweden
CountyVästra Götaland County
 • Total4,400 km2 (1,700 sq mi)
(31 December 2016)[1]
 • Total299,087
 • Density68/km2 (180/sq mi)
 • LanguageSwedish
 • DialectGötamål
 • FlowerEuropean honeysuckle
 • AnimalHarbour seal
 • BirdEurasian oystercatcher
 • FishMackerel
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)


The provinces of Sweden serve no administrative function. Instead, that function is served by the counties of Sweden. For centuries, the administrative county for Bohuslän was the Gothenburg and Bohus County, and as its name implies it consisted of the entire Bohuslän province together with the city Gothenburg. In 1998, some Swedish counties were merged to reduce administration costs, and Gothenburg and Bohus County were therefore merged into the new, much larger Västra Götaland County.


Bohuslän was granted its arms at the time of the funeral for Charles X Gustav of Sweden in 1660. It was identical to the arms of the Town of Kungälv. In 1962 the higher claim of the town was established and a variation for the arms of the county was introduced. The coat of arms is surmounted by a ducal coronet. Blazon: 'Argent, a Castle embattled Gules with one embattled Tower of the same and two doors Or hinged Sable between a Sword point upwards and Lion rampant holding the Tower both Azure langued and armed Or."


Lysekil, an old fishing-village in Bohuslän

The geography is distinguished by the rocky coast, bordering an archipelago: there are about 3,000 islands and 5,000 islets (skerries). These make up the northern part of the Gothenburg archipelago, Sweden's second largest after Stockholm archipelago. In old days, the seascape was renowned for its many reefs and sunken rocks which caused many shipwrecks. Two of the largest islands, Orust and Tjörn, constitute their own municipalities. Both islands have a distinctive culture and history. However, the rocky terrain cannot be said to be mountainous: the highest point is Björnepiken at 224 meters.

Sweden's only threshold fjord, Gullmarn or Gullmarsfjorden, is located near Lysekil. It is 25 kilometres (16 mi) long and 1 to 3 kilometres (0.62 to 1.86 mi) wide with a maximum depth of 118.5 metres (389 ft). The fjord is home to unique marine life.

Bohuslän's coastline was ranked 7th among the world's last great wilderness areas by CNN Travel.[2]

Unlike other parts of Sweden, there are relatively few lakes or streams in Bohuslän: out of a total land area of 4,500 square kilometres (1,700 sq mi) only 177 square kilometres (68 sq mi) is freshwater. Although lakes are common, they tend to be small in size. The largest lakes are the northern and southern Bullaren lakes, with a combined area of about 40 square kilometres (15 sq mi).


Most of the coast is made up by Bohus granite formed in the aftermath of the Sveconorwegian orogeny.[3] In detail these granites have been eroded as to contain abundant small rock basins, some of them filled with clay and silt of combined glacial and marine origin.[4]

The coast of Bohuslän is a joint valley landscape.[5] Studies of denudation chronology suggest Bohuslän lies at the westernmost reaches of the Sub-Cambrian peneplain,[6] however there is some uncerntainty on whether the hilltops are remnants of the peneplain.[7] Rather than Sub-cambrian most of the province is made up of a relief unit known as the Sub-Mesozoic hilly peneplain.[8]


Larger settlements

Bohuslän's chartered cities are:

Their central areas are now non-administrative urban areas.

In addition there are several other notable settlements:


Tanumshede 2005 rock carvings 5
Nordic Bronze Age rock art in Bohuslän, Three men performing a ritual, circa 2nd millennium BCE, the Bronze Age.

During the 2nd millennium BCE, the Nordic Bronze Age began (c. 1700–500 BCE), including rock art such as the examples found throughout Bohuslän. During the Migration Period (300–700 CE) and the Viking Age (700–1000 CE), the area was part of Viken, and was actually known as two entities: Rånrike in the north and Elfsyssel in the south. It has been claimed that King Harald Fairhair made it part of the unified Norway in about 872, but contemporary sources give rise to doubt that Harald actually ever held the Viken area properly. The earliest proof of Båhus lands being in Norway's hands is from the 11th century.

As long as Norway was a kingdom of its own, the province prospered, and Båhus castle was one of the key fortresses of the kingdom. When Norway was united with Denmark, the province began its decline in wealth; the area was frequently attacked by Swedish forces as part of the larger border skirmishes. The Norwegian fortress, Båhus, was built to protect this territory. Being a border zone towards the Swedish kingdom, and to a lesser extent against Danish lands in Halland, the Båhus region was disproportionately populated by soldier families.

Båhuslen belonged to Denmark-Norway until it was ceded to Sweden in the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The fortress of Carlsten was built in Marstrand during the 17th century. For a period, Marstrand was also a free port (porto Franco), with a free religious practice and, as such, home to the only synagogue in Sweden at the time.

Bohuslän, Käringön. Bodar och båtar. Teckning av Ferdinand Boberg - Nordiska museet - NMA.0087997
Small fishing huts on Käringön in the Bohuslän archipelago. Drawn by Ferdinand Boberg in 1917.

The commercial fishing of herring increased in the 18th century, and the province flourished during a major herring period around 1747–1809. Many small fishing communities grew up around the coast.

Before the large scale fishing of herring started, Bohuslän had a considerable forest cover. Timber was once the largest export product and main source of income in Bohuslän. But with the increased importance of fishing, more wood was needed as construction material for houses and boats, and as fuel for herring oil boilers (trankokerier). Deforestation during the 19th century gave rise to today's rugged, rocky landscape.


Urhultsberget sett från vägen
Urhultsberget in Lysekil Municipality

In Bohuslän a variety of the Götaland dialect of Swedish is spoken. The province was a part of Norway until 1658 as mentioned above. Traces of Norwegian remain in the dialect. 'Bohuslän', literally means the 'Fief of Bohus', referring to Bohus Fortress and län.

The Nordic Bronze Age (c. 1700–500 BCE) produced rock art showing scenes from the daily life and religious rituals, such as the examples found in Bohuslän. The rock art at Tanum, possibly made earlier, c. 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, have been entered as a site in the UNESCO World heritage program. Rock carvings can be found scattered throughout Bohuslän. The carvings portray the life of an agricultural society with images of daily life, with human figures, religious rituals, ships, circular objects, soles, animals, and fertility figures (e.g. phalluses); and the creation of shallow bowls.


Hundreds of Sweden were sub-divisions of the Swedish provinces until the early 20th century. Bohuslän's hundreds were:


Despite the non-administrative status of Bohuslän, some historical functions still remain with football being administered by Bohusläns Fotbollförbund.

Notable people from Bohuslän

People from Bohuslän are known as bohusläningar.


D81 2326 (28497035462)

Gullholmen, Bohuslän July 2016

D81 2336 (28603718425)

Käringön, Bohuslän July 2016

D81 2386 (28603673645)

Gullholmen, Bohuslän July 2016

See also


  1. ^ a b "Folkmängd i landskapen den 31 december 2016" (in Swedish). Statistics Sweden. 2017-03-21. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
  2. ^ Reddy, Jini (2013-03-06). "10 of the world's last great wilderness areas". CNN. Retrieved 2013-05-04.
  3. ^ Eliasson, Thomas; Schöberg, Hans (1991). "U-Pb dating of the post-kinematic Sveconorwegian (Grenvillian) Bohus granite, SW Sweden: evidence of restitic zircon" (PDF). Precambrian Research. 51: 337–350.
  4. ^ Johansson, Magnus; Migon, Piotr; Olvmo, Mats (2001). "Development of joint-controlled rock basins in Bohus granite, SW Sweden". Geomorphology. 40: 145–161.
  5. ^ Lidmar-Bergströrm, Karna (1995). "Relief and saprolites through time on the Baltic Shield". Geomorphology. Elsevier. 12: 45–61.
  6. ^ Green, Paul F.; Lidmar-Bergström, Karna; Japsen, Peter; Bonow, Johan M.; Chalmers, James A. (2013). "Stratigraphic landscape analysis, thermochronology and the episodic development of elevated, passive continental margins". Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin. 30: 18. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  7. ^ Lidmar-Bergström, Karna (1993). "Denudation surfaces and tectonics in the southernmost part of the Baltic Shield". Precambrian Research. 64: 337–345.
  8. ^ Lidmar-Bergström, Karna; Olvmo, Mats; Bonow, Johan M. (2017). "The South Swedish Dome: a key structure for identification of peneplains and conclusions on Phanerozoic tectonics of an ancient shield". GFF.

External links

Battle of Dynekilen

The naval Battle of Dynekilen (Slaget ved Dynekilen) took place on 8 July 1716 during the Great Northern War.

Bohus Fortress

Bohus Fortress (also known as Baahus or Båhus, originally: Bágahús) lies along the old Norwegian–Swedish border in Kungälv, Bohuslän, Sweden, north east from Hisingen where the Göta river splits into two branches (20 km (12 mi) north of Gothenburg). It commands the surrounding area from a cliff 40 m (130 ft) high, with the river forming a natural moat around it.

Bohusläns Fotbollförbund

The Bohusläns Fotbollförbund (Bohuslän Football Association) is one of the 24 district organisations of the Swedish Football Association. It administers lower tier football in the historical province of Bohuslän.


Dalsland is a Swedish traditional province, or landskap, situated in Götaland in southern Sweden. Lying to the west of Lake Vänern, it is bordered by Värmland to the north, Västergötland to the southeast, Bohuslän to the west, and Norway to the northwest.

The province has a low population density of around 14 inhabitants/km² and just one town of significant size: Åmål. The total population numbers 50,604. The uninhabited areas are characterized by dense forests in the northwestern uplands and lakes in the east, giving rise to the epithet, commonly used for Dalsland, of "Sweden's lake province".

The Latinized name Dalia, which was often used to name Dalsland in older prints, can still sometimes be encountered.

Dragsmark Abbey

Dragsmark Abbey (Swedish: Dragsmarks kloster) was a Premonstratensian canonry in Båhuslen, formerly Norway, now Bohuslän, Sweden.

Ellen Mattson

Ellen Mattson (born 1962 in Uddevalla) is a Swedish writer. Her first fictional work to be published in English translation was Snow (2005), a historical novel set in the early 18th century.

She has won several literary prizes in her native Sweden.

Grebbestads IF

Grebbestads IF is a Swedish football club located in Grebbestad.

IFK Uddevalla

IFK Uddevalla is a Swedish football club located in Uddevalla and played two seasons in the highest Swedish league, Allsvenskan, in 1925–26 and 1926–27.

IFK Åmål

IFK Åmål is a Swedish football club located in Åmål in Västra Götaland County.

Kastelle Priory

Kastelle Priory (Norwegian: Kastelle kloster; Swedish: Kastelleklostret) was an Augustinian monastery at Konghelle in the former Norwegian province of Båhuslen (now Kungälv in Bohuslän, Sweden).

Kungshamns IF

Kungshamns IF is a Swedish football club located in Kungshamn.

List of lighthouses and lightvessels in Sweden

This is a list of lighthouses and lightvessels in Sweden.

Melleruds IF

Melleruds IF is a Swedish football club located in Mellerud in Västra Götaland County.

Stenungsunds IF

Stenungsunds IF is a Swedish football club located in Stenungsund.

Säve airport

Säve Airport (Säve flygplats), until 2015 known as Göteborg City Airport (IATA: GSE, ICAO: ESGP), is an airport located 5 NM (9.3 km; 5.8 mi) north-west from the centre of Gothenburg, near Säve, on the island of Hisingen, Bohuslän, Sweden. It is located within the borders of Gothenburg Municipality, hence its former name. It was Gothenburg's second international airport, with international scheduled flights from 2001 to 2015. In addition to commercial airlines, the airport was also used by a number of rescue services, including the Swedish Coast Guard.

Owing to damage to the airport's runway by heavy aircraft and the high cost of repairs, the airport was closed to airline traffic indefinitely on 18 January 2015, but remains open to light aircraft.

Treaty of Roskilde

The Treaty of Roskilde was concluded on 26 February (OS) or 8 March 1658 (NS) during the Second Northern War between Frederick III of Denmark–Norway and Charles X Gustav of Sweden in the Danish city of Roskilde. After a devastating defeat, Denmark-Norway was forced to give up a third of its territory to save the rest, the ceded lands comprising Blekinge, Bornholm, Bohuslän (Båhuslen), Scania (Skåne) and Trøndelag, as well as her claims to Halland.After the treaty entered into force, Swedish forces continued to campaign in the remainder of Denmark-Norway, but had to withdraw from the Danish isles and Trøndelag in face of a Danish-Norwegian-Dutch alliance. The Treaty of Copenhagen restored Bornholm to Denmark and Trøndelag to Norway in 1660, while the other provinces transferred in Roskilde remain Swedish.

Vallens IF

Vallens IF is a Swedish football club located in Stora Höga.

Viken, Norway

Viken (Old Norse: Vík or Víkin) or Vika, was the historical name for a district in southeastern Norway, including the modern day Swedish province Bohuslän, which consisted of the area surrounding the Oslofjord and Skagerrak, the strait running between Norway and the southwest coast of Sweden and the Jutland peninsula of Denmark.

Viken is also the name chosen for a future administrative region consisting of a merger of the counties of Akershus, Buskerud, and Østfold.

Västra Götaland County

Västra Götaland County (Swedish: Västra Götalands län) is a county or län on the western coast of Sweden.

The county is the second largest (in terms of population) of Sweden's counties and it is subdivided into 49 municipalities (kommuner). Its population of 1,616,000 amounts to 17% of Sweden's population. The formal capital and seat of the governor of Västra Götaland County is Gothenburg. The political capital and seat of the Västra Götaland Regional Council is Vänersborg.

The county was established in 01 January 1998, when Älvsborg County, Gothenburg and Bohus County and Skaraborg County were merged.

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