Tuesday, 5 June 2012

U for Uddevalla

ABC Wednesday - U


Uddevalla is a town of around 31 000 inhabitants situated on the West Coast of Sweden, in the province of Bohuslän. Bohuslän is known for its rocky shores, and the beaches of Uddevalla are filled with seashells.

Uddevalla has one of the largest shellbanks in the world, a remain from the last glacial period.  Subfossils from more than 103 species have been found. Due to the lime-rich soil there is a unique flora and fauna in the area and it’s a habitat of many different butterflies.

 Skal i bankarna 

▲ Shellbanks Museum

Map picture

Uddevalla got its city rights in 1498 but was probably a place of trade long before that. Historically, the town was often besieged and changed nationality several times between Norway, Sweden and Denmark.


In the 18th and 19th century, Uddevalla's main importance lay in its herring fishing.


Sometime around 1870-1880, Uddevalla began to attract industries. Uddevalla has a small port and once hosted a large shipyard. This was closed in 1985 in connection with general recession in Swedish shipyard industry.


▲ The health spa resort Gustafsberg is said to have been the first of its kind in Sweden. The old bath-houses still remain and have been turned into a hostel.


From the town, you can take a tourist boat to the old spa resort, or to islands off the coast.


Children fishing for crabs


In Uddevalla, you will also find Bohuslän’s Museum, which has about 300 000 visitors per year and is renowned for its generous opening hours and free entrance.

Personal notes

Most of the photos in this post are my own, from a holiday visit to Uddevalla in the summer of 2004.

Only the two pictures from the Shellbank Museum were copied off a tourist website, because I didn’t go there.


I stayed three or four nights at a small bed & breakfast hotel, looking idyllic on the outside, but rather reminding me of Fawlty Towers. (I blacked out the real name here, since it’s been eight years, and much may have changed since then.)

I remember that when I arrived in the town (by train) the rain was pouring down. Only one of my three days was sunny (and even then not very warm). That’s when I took a boat trip to Gustafsberg, the old spa resort, and snapped the few sunny photos.


The other days, I spent a lot of time inside the museum! - very thankful for the free entrance policy, which allowed me to come and go as I pleased… 


This was before I got a digital camera so the photos were taken with my Olympus XA2.

And those were the days when from a three-day-trip one came back with only a dozen or so photos, rather than at least three hundred ;)





  1. pretty place, but I see how it could have gotten caught in political intrigue!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. What a beautiful part of the world. Great shots and interesting narrative. Carver, ABC-Wed. Team

  3. we might have been better off with the old film and not buried in photos. i was thinking you had beautiful weather for your outing until i finished reading. also the outside of the bed and breakfast if very pretty, but HA HA on the Falty towers. checked that out.

  4. My life long friend is Swedish...Her dad's name was Gus....wonder if it was after the town? Beautiful pictures...we have a nephew living in Sweden now.

    1. It's much more common to name a place after a person than the other way round. Gustafsberg at Uddevalla was named after the Swedish king Gustav III back in the 1700s. Gustav/Gustaf has been a common name in Sweden for many centuries - as well as a royal one. There are other places in Sweden called Gustavsberg too and one of them a well-known porcelain factory.

  5. Very beautiful!

    Up and Down

    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

  6. Wow! Such a beautiful little village right on the water. Great shots.

  7. So very pretty! I think I should add the Scandinavian countries to my list of places to visit one day.

    abcw team

  8. Cool place and so beautiful.

  9. I greatly enjoyed Sweden in the summer...

  10. Must be so interesting to visit the shellbank. Love the first view! And herring...ah, that's one of the things I miss in the US - no new salter herring!

  11. Wonderful pictures of this place, which I had never heard of. I actually think the last picture is my favorite. There is just something about it....I love the roof sides on the B&B, and what is the red enclosure in the next to last picture? It looks like a tollbooth or an entrance guard stall.

    1. It's the top part of a lighthouse, standing outside the museum.

  12. What totally fabulous photos - the light just makes me want to sing!

  13. Stornoway used to be important for the herring fishery - now overfishing has meant there are none.

    Doesn't pre-digital (I got my first digital camera in California in March 2004 by coincidence) seem a long time ago?

    1. Pre-digital times do seem a long time ago. For me, increased by the fact that since I got my first digital camera in 2006, I haven't travelled anywhere. I've taken more photos since then than I did in all my previous life; but without going further than 20 km from where I live!

  14. Absolutely beautiful!!!! Such a pristine, wonderful seaport town. I wouldn't mind living there myself!!!


  15. So beautiful --and informative too. Nice U

  16. sorry, I can manage pronouncing to Udder.


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