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Hudiksvall is a city and the seat of Hudiksvall Municipality, in Hälsingland, Gävleborg County, Sweden with 14,850 inhabitants in 2005. Hudiksvall is also known as Glada Hudik (English: Happy Hudik), a term that originated in the 19th century as word spread of its friendly hospitality and its lively social life. The city is located along the E4, on the east coast of Sweden deep inside the bay Hudiksvallsfjärden, about 80 km south of Sundsvall and about 130 km north of Gävle. Hudiksvall is Swedens 76th largest urban area and also the largest urban area in Hälsingland. Around Hudiksvall lies the communities of Delsbo, Iggesund, Enånger, Forsa and Näsviken.
Hudiksvall was founded by King John III of Sweden in 1582. He had the inhabitants moved from the town Hudik, where his father Gustav Vasa had collected the trade- and craftsmen of Hälsingland in order to more easily collect taxes, to Hudiksvall by the shores of the bay.
At the time, fishing and the trading of furs, skins, iron, copper and wood products were the main sources of income, and the city flourished. But the city lost its privileges for foreign trading in 1636, and its development was somewhat stalled for the next two centuries.
It has been damaged by fires some 10 times, the most severe when it was burnt by the Russians in 1721, whereafter only the church remained. The current street structure was applied in 1792 as part of the reconstruction necessitated by another fire.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.