geographical name \ˈgät-ˌland\

Definition of GOTLAND

island Sweden in the Baltic off SE coast; chief town Visby area 1225 square miles (3173 square kilometers), pop 57,381


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Island (pop., 2002 est.: 57,458) and county, southeastern Sweden. Located in the Baltic Sea, it covers 1,212 sq mi (3,140 sq km). A trading centre since the Bronze Age, Gotland became part of Sweden in the 9th century. By the 12th century Gotland's traders dominated the routes between Russia and western Europe. German merchants, who settled in the major town and current county capital, Visby, brought Gotland into the Hanseatic League. It was at the height of its prosperity when it was taken by the Danish in 1361. It was finally returned to Sweden in 1645 and was fortified in the late 19th century. The island's economy centres on agriculture, fishing, and tourism.


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