Skövde is today an important manufacturing and military hub in the Västergötland region. With a population of around 34.000 inhabitants, it is the 32nd largest locality in Sweden. One of the town’s main employers is the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo, but they are many other companies as well. The University of Skövde is one of the reasons why the town has been able to attract game developers and it is the diversity that makes Skövde a regional centre.
A Short History of Skövde
Skövde has a long and partly golden history. It is here that one of the largest gold treasures in the Nordic countries was found some 100 years ago. Skövde’s early history also heavily centres around Saint Helena, or Saint Helen of Sköfde. She lived in the 12th century in Våmb and family intrigues resulted in her being killed on her way to church in 1160. With the canonization of Helena, the town became a popular destination for pilgrims. It was the visitors that helped the little town to prosper.
The reformation led to a big drop in the prosperity of the town, as saints were no longer at the centre of the faith. The population was only around 170 at the beginning of the 18th century. That was prior to the large fire of 1759 that destroyed much of the town centre.
It was from the mid-19th century onwards that Skövde became one of the most influential and important towns in the region. The railroad opened in 1859, connecting the town with Göteborg and Stockholm. Skövde eventually became a garrison town as several army units were moved here after 1905. The military presence is still important for local employment.
Things to Do and See
Skövde has a fairly large centre with shopping, restaurants and historical buildings. Then there are the recreational and educational sights that make the town stand out.
Billingen Recreational Area
Billingen is a mesa, a hill with a flat top, and reaches a height of 304 metres. The area is well-developed for recreational activities. There are prepared tracks for cross-country skiing in the winter, together with slopes for alpine skiing, and an ice rink. During the rest of the year, the area changes to housing other activities such as hiking and mountain biking.
Arena Skövde is a multi-purpose sports centre. This is also where the local indoor and outdoor swimming pools are located. Well, the pools are accompanied by several waterslides and other activities.
The city museum displays the history and development of Skövde. It is in the neighbourhood of Norrmalm, in a house that was once a textile factory.
Balthazar Science Center
Balthazar is the local interactive science museum for natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.
How to get to Skövde
Flights: The closest larger airport is Göteborg Landvetter Airport (GOT) 147 kilometres away, with both domestic and international flights. Another option is Jönköping Airport (JKG), 88 kilometres away, with mostly chartered flights.
Car: Skövde is located at the intersection of road 49 between Skara and Tibro and road 26 between Mariestad and Tidaholm
Train: There are several train routes making stops in Skövde. There are train connections with close by towns such as Falköping and Töreboda, as well as long-distance trains to Göteborg and Stockholm.
Bus: Regional and local buses connect Skövde with the surrounding region.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 348 kilometers (3h 50min) Gothenburg – 155 kilometers (2h) Malmö – 379 kilometers (4h 18min) Linköping – 175 kilometers (2h 18min) Kiruna – 1445 kilometers (17h 25min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden