Gothenburg (Swedish: Göteborg, pronounced "Yeutebory") is the second largest city in Sweden with approximately 500,000 inhabitants (2008) in the municipality. It is situated on Sweden's west coast at the outlet of the Göta river. With over 40,000 students Gothenburg University is the largest in Scandinavia. Gothenburg has a reputation of being a friendly place, even more welcoming than the Swedish capital.
With neighboring provinces Halland and Bohuslän under Danish rule, the Göta River used to be Sweden's only western port, since the 14th century guarded by a fort named Älvsborg. The city of Gothenburg was founded in 1621 by King Gustav II Adolf, during the height of the Swedish Empire. It was once the center of the Swedish ship-building industry, but with rising competition from foreign ship yards, many of the dry docks closed down during the late 20th century. Much of the inner harbor area has changed from industrial ship building to high technology and education, representative of the general change in the city. Today Gothenburg has both international sporting events, concerts, and conventions as well as a small town feel. An industrial town, Gothenburg has been a stronghold of the Social Democratic Party.