For the vehicle manufacturer, see Scania AB. For other uses, see Skåne (disambiguation) and Scania (disambiguation).


Coat of arms
Country Sweden
Land Götaland
County Skåne County
  Total 10,939 km2 (4,224 sq mi)
Population (31 December 2015 [2])
  Total 1,303,627
  Density 120/km2 (310/sq mi)
  Language Swedish
  Dialect Scanian
  Flower Oxeye daisy
  Animal Red deer
  Bird Red kite
  Fish Eel
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area codes 040–046

Scania, also known by its local name Skåne (pronounced [²skoːnɛ] or [²skɛu̯nə] in the regional dialect), is the southernmost province (landskap) of Sweden which consists of a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian Peninsula and some islands close to it. Scania is roughly equivalent to the modern Skåne County (Skåne län). The responsibility for overseeing implementation of state policy in the county is administered by the County Administrative Board.[3] Within Scania there are 33 municipalities that are independent and separate from the Scania Regional Council which has its seat in Kristianstad. The largest city is Malmö, which is also the third largest city in Sweden.

To the north, Scania borders the provinces of Halland and Småland, to the northeast Blekinge, to the east and south the Baltic Sea and Bornholm island, and to the west Øresund. Since 2000 a road and railway bridge, the Øresund Bridge,[4] bridges the sound to the Danish island of Zealand. The HH Ferry route across the northern part of Øresund also remains as an important link between the Scandinavian Peninsula and Zealand. Scania is part of the transnational Øresund Region.[5]

Scania was part of the kingdom of Denmark up until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658.[6] The transition to Sweden was later confirmed by the 1660 Treaty of Copenhagen, the 1679 Peace of Lund and the 1700 Peace of Travendal. The last serious Danish attempt to invade the province failed in 1710, after the Battle of Helsingborg.[7] The period 1658–1720 saw widespread violence by the Swedish militaries against the local population. The same was also true about the Danish military, though to a far lesser extent. The region did not form part of Sweden proper until 1720, but had the status of conquered "foreign land" until that year. It was then divided in two counties and has since then been regarded as fully integrated in Sweden. Until the early 19th century, a policy of forced assimilation was employed by the Swedish government in what until then had been a linguistically Danish region. Controversy relating to whether the Scanian dialects should be classified as a regional language or as Danish or Swedish dialects remains to this day.[8]

From north to south Scania is around 130 kilometres (81 miles) and covers less than 3% of Sweden's total area, but the population of approximately 1,304,000 (by end of year 2015)[9] represents 13% of the country's entire population. About 16% of Scania's population is foreign-born.[10] With 120 inh/km2 Scania is the second most densely populated province of Sweden, next only to Södermanland. The western part, along the coast of the Øresund, is by far the most populated part.


Endonym and exonyms

The endonym used in Swedish and other North Germanic languages is Skåne (formerly spelled Skaane in Danish and Norwegian). The Latinized form Scania occurs especially in British English as an exonym.[11] However, there are also examples of the endonym Skåne used in English texts, like tourist information for Americans.[12] sometimes as Skane with the diacritic omitted, which is wrong Swedish without being correct English.[13][14] Scania is the only Swedish province for which exonyms are still widely used in many languages, e.g. French Scanie, Dutch and German Schonen, Polish Skania, Spanish Escania, Italian Scania, etc. For the province's modern administrative counterpart, Skåne län, the endonym Skåne is used in English.[15]

In the Alfredian translation of Orosius's and Wulfstan's travel accounts, the Old English form Sconeg appears.[16][17] Frankish sources mention a place called Sconaowe; Æthelweard, an Anglo-Saxon historian, wrote about Scani;[18] and in Beowulf's fictional account, the names Scedenige and Scedeland appear as names for what is a Danish land.[16]


The names Scania and Scandinavia are considered to have the same etymology[19][20][21][22] and the southernmost tip of what is today Sweden was called Scania by the Romans and thought to be an island. The name is possibly derived from the Germanic root *Skaðin-awjã, which appears in Old Norse as Skáney.[23] According to some scholars, the Germanic stem can be reconstructed as *Skaðan- meaning "danger" or "damage" (English scathing, German Schaden, Swedish skada).[24] Skanör in Scania, with its long Falsterbo reef, has the same stem (skan) combined with -ör, which means "sandbanks".


Counties of Scania before 1997

Like the other provinces of Sweden, the province of Scania serves no administrative or political purposes, but is an exclusively historical and cultural entity.

Between 1719 and 1996, the province was subdivided in two administrative counties (län), Kristianstad County and Malmöhus County, each under a governor (landshövding) appointed by the central government of Sweden. When the first local government acts took effect in 1863 each county also got an elected county council (landsting). The counties were further divided into municipalities. The local government reform of 1952 reduced the number of municipalities and a second subdivision reform, carried out between 1968 and 1974 established today's 33 municipalities[25] (Swedish: kommuner) in Scania. The municipalities have municipal governments, similar to city commissions, and are further divided into parishes (församlingar). The parishes are primarily entities of the Church of Sweden, but they also serve as a divisioning measure for the Swedish population registration and other statistical uses.

In 1997 the two counties were merged, and Skåne County has approximately the same boundaries as the province. For the pre-1997 counties see map to the right, which also outlines the still valid municipal limits.

Two years later the county council areas were amalgamated forming Skåne Regional Council (Region Skåne), responsible mainly for public healthcare, public transport and regional planning and culture.


Letter from Eric of Pomerania dated 1437, with a description of the arms granted to the city of Malmö.
The coat of arms of Scania in an engraving from 1712 in Erik Dahlbergh's Suecia Antiqua et Hodierna

During the Danish era, the province had no coat of arms. In Sweden, however, every province had been represented by heraldic arms since 1560.[26] When Charles X Gustav of Sweden suddenly died in 1660 a coat of arms had to be created for the newly acquired province, as each province was to be represented by its arms at his royal funeral. After an initiative from Baron Gustaf Bonde, the Lord High Treasurer of Sweden, the coat of arms of the City of Malmö was used as a base for the new provincial arms. The Malmö coat of arms had been granted in 1437, during the Kalmar Union, by Eric of Pomerania and contains a Pomeranian griffin's head. To distinguish it from the city's coat of arms the tinctures were changed and the official blazon for the provincial arms is, in English: Or, a griffin's head erased gules, crowned azure and armed azure, when it should be armed.

The province was divided in two administrative counties 1719–1996. Coats of arms were created for these entities, also using the griffin motif. The new Skåne County, operative from 1 January 1997, got a coat of arms that is the same as the province's, but with reversed tinctures. When the county arms is shown with a Swedish royal crown, it represents the County Administrative Board, which is the regional presence of central government authority. In 1999 the two county councils (landsting) were amalgamated forming Region Skåne. It is the only of its kind using a heraldic coat of arms. It is also the same as the province's and the county's, but with a golden griffin's head on a blue shield.[27] The 33 municipalities within the county also have coats of arms.

The Scania Griffin has become a well-known symbol for the province and it is used also by commercial enterprises. It is, for instance, included in the logotypes of the automotive manufacturer Scania AB and the airline Malmö Aviation.

Coat of arms:

City of Malmö (1437)
City of Malmö
(revised 1974)
(1660, revised 1939)
Kristianstad County
(revised 1939)
Malmöhus County
(revised 1939)
Skåne County


Main article: History of Scania
Ale's Stones, a stone ship (burial monument) from c. 500 AD on the coast at Kåseberga, around ten kilometres (6.2 miles) south east of Ystad.
Map of Denmark in the Middle Ages, Scania was together with the provinces Blekinge and Halland a part of Denmark

Scania was first mentioned in written texts in the 9th century. It came under Danish king Harald Bluetooth in the middle of the 10th century. It was, together with Blekinge and Halland, situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula, but forming the eastern part of the kingdom of Denmark. This geographical position made it the focal point of the frequent Dano-Swedish wars for hundreds of years. By the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, all Danish lands east of Øresund were ceded to the Swedish Crown. First placed under a Governor-General, the province was eventually integrated into the kingdom of Sweden. The last Danish attempt to regain its lost provinces failed after the Battle of Helsingborg (1710). In 1719 the province was subdivided in two counties and administered in the same way as the rest of Sweden. Scania has since that year been fully integrated in the Swedish nation. In the following summer, July 1720, the last peace treaty between Sweden and Denmark was signed.[28][29]

Regional politics

During Sweden's financial crisis in the early and mid-1990s, Scania, Västra Götaland and Norrbotten were among the hardest hit in the country, with high unemployment rates as a result.[30] In response to the crisis, the County Governors were given a task by the government in September 1996 to co-ordinate various measures in the counties to increase economic growth and employment by bringing in regional actors.[30] The first proposal for regional autonomy and a regional parliament had been introduced by the Social Democratic Party's local districts in Scania and Västra Götaland already in 1993. When Sweden joined the European Union two years later, the concept "Regions of Europe" came in focus and a more regionalist-friendly approach was adopted in national politics.[31] These factors contributed to the subsequent transformation of Skåne County into one of the first "trial regions" in Sweden in 1999, established as the country's first "regional experiment".[31]

The relatively strong regional identity in Scania is often referred to in order to explain the general support in the province for the decentralization efforts introduced by the Swedish government.[32] On the basis of large scale interview investigations about Region Skåne in Scania, scholars have found that the prevailing trend among the inhabitants of Scania is to "[look] upon their region with more positive eyes and a firm reliance that it would deliver the goods in terms of increased democracy and constructive results out of economic planning".[33]


There are no independence movements organized for electoral contests in Skåne,[34] although some of the small parties with seats in various municipalities have from time to time placed secession in combination with anti-immigration measures on their party platforms. A coalition of 16 smaller parties (Skånes Väl) gained 6 seats of 149 in the county council in 1998, but lost their seats in the election of 2002.


The motorway through western Scania, E6, at motorway service Glumslöv is the artery of the western part of the province.
Schematic railway map of Scania, showing train type and stations for the local Pågatågen trains,the inter-regional Øresund trains and Småland province local trains within Scania. These three train types shares fare zones and any tickets are valid on any train of these three operators within Scania. In all there are 65 train stations in Scania. 15. January 2015

[35] Just like five Scanian stations are served partly (Hässleholm and Osby) or entirely (Ballingslöv, Hästveda and Killeberg) by Småland local trains, the Scanian Pågatåg trains serves Markaryd in Småland.[36]

There are basically three ticket systems, one for internal Scanian voyages, one for travels between Scania and Copenhagen and its surroundings and one for the Swedish national SJ-tickets for long travels up the country. If travel by railway towards the south, it's best to either use a travel agency or to purchase the ticket at Copenhagen Main Station (København H). An exception is if traveling to Berlin by night train and the train ferry route between Trelleborg and Sassnitz. Unfortunately does the current operator, Swedish Veolia only use this classical route during the summer (while many visitors believe Berlin to be best during spring and autumn).

Electrified dual track railroad exists between the border to Denmark at the Øresund Bridge to Lund, where it splits up in two directions.[37] The dual tracks going towards Gothenburg ends at Helsingborg,[38] while the other branch continues beyond the provincial border to neighbouring Småland, close to Killeberg.[35][37] This latter dual track continues to mid-Sweden.[37] There are also a few single track railroads.[37]

The E6 motorway is the main artery through the western part of Scania all the way from Trelleborg to the provincial border towards neighbouring Halland. It continues along the Swedish west coast to Gothenburg and most of the way to the Norwegian border. There are also several other motorways, especially around Malmö. Since 2000, the economic focus of the region has changed, with the opening of a road link across the Øresund Bridge to Denmark.[39]

The car ferry service between Helsingborg and Helsingør has 70 departures in each direction daily as of 2014.[40]

There are three minor airports in Sturup, Ängelholm and Kristianstad but the nearby Copenhagen Airport, which is the largest international airport in the Nordic countries, also serves the province.[41]

Geography and environmental factors

Land usage in Scania, showing hardwood forests (light green), pinewood forests (dark green) fields (yellow), garden and fruit (orange) and residential areas (red)
Pruned willows and rapefields are typical for this area of Sweden.

The geography of Scania was shaped by the last ice age, the Weichsel glaciation, a time when it was totally covered with ice. The relief of Scania's south-western landscape was formed by thick Quaternary deposits from sediment accumulation during the glaciations.[42] Hallandsåsen and Söderåsen are major landmarks but, contrary to popular belief, they are not ridges left behind by the retreating ice but horsts formed by inversion tectonic activity along the Tornquist Tectonic zone in the late Cretaceous. The Scanian horsts run in a north-west to south-east direction, marking the southwest border of Fennoscandia.[42]

Unlike some of the other regions of Sweden, the Scanian landscape is generally not mountainous. A few examples of uncovered cliffs can though be found at Hovs Hallar, at Kullaberg, and on the island Hallands Väderö. With the exception of the lake-rich and densely forested northern parts (Göinge), the rolling hills in the north-west (the Bjäre and Kulla peninsulas) and the beech-wood-clad areas extending from the slopes of the horsts, a sizeable portion of Scania's terrain consists of plains. Its low profile and open landscape distinguish Scania from most other geographical regions of Sweden which consist mainly of waterway-rich, cool, mixed coniferous forests, boreal taiga and alpine tundra.[43] The province has several lakes but they are relatively few compared to the province just north of Scania, Småland. Stretching from the north-western to the south-eastern parts of Scania is a belt of deciduous forests following the Linderödsåsen ridge and previously marking the border between Malmöhus County and Kristianstad County. The much denser fir forests — so typical of the greater part of Sweden—are only found in the north-eastern Göinge parts of Scania along the border with the forest dominated province of Småland. At some places, like e.g. north of Malmö, the terrain is almost entirely flat, but more common is a slightly sloping profile.

The typical rather narrow lakes with a long north to south extent, which are very common just a little bit further north, are lacking in the province. The largest lake, Ivösjön in the north-east, has similarities with the lakes further north, but has a different shape. All other lakes tends to be round, oval or of more complex shape and also lacking any specific cardinal direction. Ringsjön, in the middle of the province, is the largest of such lakes. In the winter, some smaller lakes east of Lund often attracts young Eurasian sea eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla).

Typical dramatic Scanian coastline, here southern peak of Ven island in Øresund. The yellow colour indicates sand rather than chalk, while white colour at similar cliffs indicates chalk rather than sand

Where the sea meets higher parts of the sloping landscape, dramatic cliffs emerge very suddenly. Such cliffs are white if the soil has a high content of chalk. Typically like White Cliffs of Dover, but in Scania and parts of Denmark the soil is usually more sandy, and the cliffs then becomes yellow instead. Good examples of such coastlines exists at the southern side of Ven in Øresund, and also between the towns Helsingborg and Landskrona, as well as parts of the Scanian south and south-east coast. Where the cliffs aren't steep enough, they may become overgrown with grass. Such yellow (or white) coastline cliffs also exist in nearby south-eastern Denmark, Stevns Klint and Møns Klint, and at the German island of Rügen by Kap Arkona. In other Swedish provinces, steep coastlines usually reveal primary rock instead.

The two major plains, Söderslätt in the south-west and Österlen in the south-east, consist of highly fertile agricultural land—the yield per unit area is higher than in any other region in Sweden. The Scanian plains are an important resource for the rest of Sweden since 25–95% of the total production of various types of cereals come from the region. Almost all Swedish sugar beet comes from Scania; the plant needs a long vegetation period. The same applies also to corn, pea and rape (grown for its vegetarian oil), although these plants are less imperative in compare with sugar beets.[44] The soil is among the most fertile in the world.

The Kullaberg Nature Preserve in northwest Scania is home to several rare species including spring vetchling, Lathyrus sphaericus.[45]

Vegetation and vegetation zones

The vast majority of Scania belongs to the European hardwood vegetation zone, a considerable part of which is now agricultural rather than the original forest. This zone covers Europe west of Poland and north of the Alps, and includes the British Isles, northern and central France and the countries and regions to the south and southeast of the North Sea up to Denmark. A smaller north-eastern part of Scania is part of the pinewood vegetation zone, in which spruce grows naturally. Within the larger part, pine may grow together with birch on sandy soil. The most common tree is beech. Other common trees are willow, oak, ash, alder and elm (which until the 1970s formed a few forests but now is heavily infected by the elm disease). Also rather southern trees like walnut tree, chestnut and hornbeam can be found. In parks horse chestnut, lime and maple are commonly planted as well. Common fruit trees planted in commercial orchards and private gardens include several varieties of apple, pear, cherry and plum; strawberries are commercially cultivated in many locations across the province. Examples of wild berries grown in domesticated form are blackberry, raspberry, cloudberry (in the north-east), blueberry, wild strawberry and loganberry.

National parks

Three of the 29 National parks of Sweden[46] are situated in Scania.



Map of the 33 municipalities of Scania. The western, yellow coloured municipalities, close to Øresund, have much higher population densities than the eastern ones

Scania is divided into 33 municipalities with population and land surface as the table below shows. There is a large population differency between the western Scania, that is located by, or close to Øresund sea compared to the middle and eastern parts of the province.

Municipality Population (April 2013) Land area (km2) Population density (/km2)
The 17 municipalities that have coast by Øresund, or border to a municipality that does In yellow
Bjuv 14 813 115.3 128.5
Burlöv 17 079 18.9 903.7
Eslöv 31 761 419.1 75.8
Helsingborg 132 254 344.0 384.4
Höganäs 24 986 150.8 165.7
Kävlinge 29 513 152.6 193.4
Landskrona 42 751 148.3 288.3
Lomma 22 415 55.6 403.1
Lund 112 925 427.2 264.3
Malmö 309 912 156.9 1975.2
Staffanstorp 22 572 106.8 211.3
Svalöv 13 217 387.3 34.1
Svedala 20 039 218.1 91.9
Trelleborg 42 744 339.9 125.8
Vellinge 33 725 142.6 236.5
Åstorp 14 849 92.2 161.0
Ängelholm 39 836 420.1 95.1
Other municipalities In white
Bromölla 12 314 162.5 74.4
Båstad * 14 224 209.8 67.8
Hässleholm 50 171 1268.5 39.6
Hörby 14 882 419.4 35.5
Höör 15 591 290.9 53.6
Klippan 16 741 374.3 44.7
Kristianstad 80 854 1246.3 64.9
Osby 12 704 576.2 22.0
Perstorp 7 089 158.8 44.6
Simrishamn 18 950 391.4 48.4
Sjöbo 18 359 492.2 37.3
Skurup 14 997 193.6 77.5
Tomelilla 12 913 395.9 32.6
Ystad 28 562 350.1 81.6
Örkelljunga 9 640 319.6 30.1
Östra Göinge 13 609 432.0 31.5

[51] * A small part of Båstad municipality is located within the neighbouring province of Halland, this includes the village "Östra Karup" and some area around it, around 500 people lives in Båstad municipality, but outside the historical boundaries of the Scanian province.

These figures can be compared with around to 21 inhabitants per km2 for entire Sweden.

Population around Øresund

Western Scania has a high population density, not only by Scandinavian standards but also by average European standards, at close to 300 inhabitants per square kilometre. But the Danish Copenhagen region at north-east Zealand, on the other side of Øresund Sea, is even more populated. The north-east part of Zealand (or the Danish Region Hovedstaden without the Baltic island of Bornholm) has a population density of 878 inhabitants/km2, most of Greater Copenhagen included.

And by adding the population of western Scania to the same of Metropolitan area of Copenhagen, then close to 3 million people live around the Øresund sea, within a maximum distance from Øresund of 25 to 30 kilometres. At a land surface of approx. 6100 km2 (approx 460 inhabitants/km2). This is in many ways a better measurement of describing the area around Øresund than what the far wider Øresund Region constitutes, as the latter includes also eastern Scania (whose beaches are Baltic Sea ones and is far less populated) as well as entire Denmark east of Great Belt.

Regardless of counting a smaller area with higher population density or a larger one, the Øresund Straight is located in the largest metropolitan area in Scandinavia with Finland.


Eslöv church, built 1890 in Neo-Gothic style, sometimes known in Swedish as "Eslöv Gothic".[52]

In 1658, the following ten places in Scania were chartered and held town rights: Lund (since approximately 990), Helsingborg (1085), Falsterbo (approximately 1200), Ystad (approximately 1200), Skanör (approximately 1200), Malmö (approximately 1250), Simrishamn (approximately 1300), Landskrona (1413), and Kristianstad (1622). Others had existed earlier, but lost their privileges. Ängelholm got new privileges in 1767, and in 1754, Falsterbo and Skanör were merged. The concept of municipalities was introduced in Sweden in 1863, making each of the towns a city municipality of its own. In the 19th and 20th centuries, four more municipalities were granted city status, Trelleborg (1867), Eslöv (1911), Hässleholm (1914) and Höganäs (1936). The system with city status was abolished in 1971.

Over 90% of Scania's population live in urban areas.[53] In 2000, the Øresund Bridge—the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe—linked Malmö and Copenhagen, making Scania's population part of a 3.6 million total population in the Øresund Region. In 2005, the region had 9,200 commuters crossing the bridge daily, the vast majority of them from Malmö to Copenhagen.[54]

The following localities had more than 10,000 inhabitants [55] (Year 2010.)

  1. Malmö, 280,415 *
  2. Helsingborg, 97,122
  3. Lund, 82,800
  4. Kristianstad, 35,711
  5. Landskrona, 30,499
  6. Trelleborg, 28,290
  7. Ängelholm, 23,240
  8. Hässleholm, 18,500
  9. Ystad, 18,350
  10. Eslöv, 17,748
  11. Staffanstorp, 14,808
  12. Höganäs, 14,107
  13. Kävlinge & Furulund, 13,200

Population development

The Turning Torso in Malmö, the tallest building in Sweden.[56]

It has been estimated that around 1570, Scania had about 110,000 inhabitants.[57] But before the plague in the middle of the 14th century the population of all Danish territory east of Øresund (Scania, Island of Bornholm, Blekinge and Halland) may have exceeded 250,000.

The figures here are from two different sources.[58][59]

Year Population Year Population Year Population
1620 126,000 1820 312,000 1930 757,000
1699 142,000 1830 350,000 1940 778,000
1718 152,000 1840 388,000 1950 843,000
1735 180,000 1850 443,000 1960 882,000
1750 197,000 1860 494,000 1970 983,000
1760 202,000 1870 538,000 1980 1,023,000
1772 216,000 1880 580,000 1990 1,068,000
1780 231,000 1890 591,000 2000 1,129,000
1795 250,000 1900 628,000 2010 1,228,000
1800 259,000 1910 685,000 2014 1,280,257[60]
1810 275,000 1920 728,000


Scania was formerly divided into 23 hundreds.


Location of some SMHI temperature stations in Scania

Scania has the mildest climate in Sweden, but there are some local differences.

The table shows average temperatures in degrees Celsius at ten Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) weather stations in Scania and three stations further north for comparison issues. Average temperature in this case means the average of the temperature taken throughout both day and night unlike the more usual daily maximum or minimum average. This is done for specific measured periods of thirty years. The last period began at 1 January 1961 and ended at 31 December 1990. The current such period started at 1 January 1991 and will end by 31 December 2020. At that time it will be possible to with a high degree of mathematical certainty to measure possible climate changes, by comparing two separate periods of 30 years with each other. Station Approx Latitude Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
5320 Smygehuk 55 -0.1 -0.3 1.4 4.6 9.4 14.0 15.6 15.7 12.9 9.4 5.2 1.7 7.5
5223 Falsterbo 55 0.3 0.0 1.7 5.1 10.1 14.7 16.4 16.4 13.7 10.0 5.7 2.3 8.0
5337 Malmö 2 55.5 0.1 0.0 2.2 6.4 11.6 15.8 17.1 16.8 13.6 9.8 5.3 1.9 8.4
5433 Simrishamn 55.5 -0.1 -0.3 1.7 4.9 9.5 14.6 16.3 16.1 13.1 9.2 4.9 1.6 7.6
5251 Örja 55.5 0.0 0.0 2.2 6.1 11.5 15.3 16.5 16.7 13.5 9.4 5.2 2.2 8.2
6203 Helsingborg 56 0.6 -0.1 2.0 6.0 11.2 15.3 16.7 16.6 13.6 9.9 5.2 1.8 8.3
5343 Lund 55.5 -0.6 -0.5 2.0 6.0 11.5 15.4 16.8 16.5 13.1 9.1 4.5 1.1 7.9
5353 Hörby 55.5 -1.6 -1.5 1.0 5.4 10.4 14.4 15.5 15.3 11.9 8.0 3.6 0.1 6.9
5455 Kristianstad 55.5 -1.0 -1.0 1.4 5.2 10.3 14.7 16.1 15.7 12.3 8.5 4.0 0.6 7.2
6322 Osby 56 -2.2 -2.1 0.6 5.0 10.5 14.4 15.5 14.9 11.3 7.4 2.8 -0.7 6.5
For comparison, some northern locations within Sweden
9749 Stockholm Arlanda 60 -4.4 -4.6 -1.0 4.0 10.2 14.9 16.3 15.2 10.8 6.4 1.2 -2.9 5.5
12731 Sundsvall 62.5 -9.0 -7.9 -3.1 2.0 7.8 13.4 15.3 14.0 9.4 4.5 -2.0 -6.7 3.1
16268 Luleå 66 -11.5 -10.7 -6.0 0.1 6.4 13.0 15.5 13.6 8.3 3.0 -4.0 -9.0 1.6

[61] All three of the northern locations are at low altitude and fairly close to the Baltic Sea.

Compared with locations further north, the Scanian climate differs primary by being far less cold during the winter and in having longer springs and autumns. While the July temperatures doesn't differ much (see table above).

The highest temperature ever recorded in the province is 36.0 °C (97 °F) (Ängelholm, 30 July 1947) and the lowest ever recorded is −34 °C (−29 °F) (Stehag, 26 January 1942) Temperatures below −15 °C (5 °F) are extremely rare even at night, while summer temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) occurs once in a while every summer. Precipitation is spread fairly evenly, both across the province and during the year.

Slightly more precipitation falls during July and August than during the other months.


A typical winter, with average temperatures around the freezing point during January and February, means that a period of mild weather (often blowy or/and rainy) is followed by a colder period (when precipitation falls as snow) - and then the mild weather returns etc., rather than a stable temperature close to zero degrees. During the colder periods, the temperature often is below freezing point also during daytime, while as during the milder periods, temperatures below freezing point are unusual even at night. During the mild periods temperatures slightly below freezing point only occur if the night is both calm and free of clouds. If the same circumstances occur during a cold period, the nights can get very cold though. All together this adds up to a 24 hrs/day "winter average" of around 0 degrees In the north-eastern corner (and at the top of the ridges) the winter is in general notably colder though, and a snow cover may last for weeks.


March is locally known as the first month of the spring. The colder periods are fewer and sunny days may even feel pleasant. During April and early May temperature rises rather fast. Though spring (especially in the sense "first heat") arrives later compared to northernmost of Germany and Poland. This is particularly notable in the south-eastern corner. This is explained with the open coastline and low temperatures in the Baltic sea. Øresund is both narrow and shallow and gets warmer faster. The most common Scanian tree, the beech, leafes usually during the last days in April or first days of May. But is usually delayed 10–14 days in the south-east, due to "the Baltic Sea chill factor".


Unlike the other seasons, summer isn't warmer in Scania compared to many other Swedish provinces. Like during the winter the weather usually changes in periods that either are sunny and fairly hot (up to 30 degrees, even higher away from the coastlines), and periods of unstable cloudy and cooler weather. The time between sunset and sunrise during June and earliest July is less than 7 hours, and both the dawn and the dusk are rather long as well. But it still remains a few hours of real night. Further north in Sweden there is no real night, as dusk turns into dawn. (And in the northernmost of Sweden, the sun doesn't even set at all for around two months)


The autumn in Scania is a slow process, compared with more northern parts of Sweden (but a faster one, when comparing with any part of the British Isles). During the first half of September, temperatures usually are not so much affected, but the sunset is obviously earlier compared with in June. Temperatures drop in steps. Every new period with sunny weather becomes a bit cooler than the last one. By the end of October the defoliation process becomes evident. But not until late November all trees have lost their leaves. The period when storms and even hurricanes becomes most likely to occur durates between November and February. Most of them are coming from the Atlantic Ocean and doesn't involve snow or temperatures below freezing point. Late Scanian autumn is in general benefited from the surrounding waters (the opposite effect early spring).


Traditional half-timbered farm of the southern plains in Scania.

Scania's long-running and sometimes intense trade relations with other communities along the coast of the European continent through history have made the culture of Scania distinct from other geographical regions of Sweden. Its open landscape, often described as a colourful patchwork quilt of wheat and rapeseed fields, and the relatively mild climate at the southern tip of the Scandinavian Peninsula, have inspired many Swedish artists and authors to compare it to European regions like Provence in southern France and Zeeland in the Netherlands.[62] Among the many authors who have described the "foreign" continental elements of the Scanian landscape, diet and customs are August Strindberg and Carl Linnaeus. In 1893 August Strindberg wrote about Scania: "In beautiful, large wave lines, the fields undulate down toward the lake; a small deciduous forest limits the coastline, which is given the inviting look of the Riviera, where people shall walk in the sun, protected from the north wind. [...] The Swede leaves the plains with a certain sense of comfort, because its beauty is foreign to him." In another chapter he states: "The Swedes have a history that is not the history of the South Scandinavians. It must be just as foreign as Vasa’s history is to the Scanian."[63]

In Ystad, singer-songwriter Michael Saxell's popular Scanian anthem Om himlen och Österlen (Of Heaven and Österlen), the flat, rolling hill landscape is described as appearing to be a little closer to heaven and the big, unending sky.

Scania's historical connection to Denmark, the vast fertile plains, the deciduous forests and the relatively mild climate make the province culturally and physically distinct from the emblematic Swedish cultural landscape of forests and small hamlets.[64]


The house of magistrate Jacob Hansen in Helsingborg, Scania, built 1641.
The Old Church of Södra Åsum in Sjöbo Municipality — a typical example of a medieval Danish Scanian church.

Traditional Scanian architecture is shaped by the limited availability of wood; it incorporates different applications of the building technique called half-timbering. In the cities, the infill of the façades consisted of bricks,[65] whereas the country-side half-timbered houses had infill made of clay and straw.[66] Unlike many other Scanian towns, the town of Ystad has managed to preserve a rather large core of its half-timbered architecture in the city center—over 300 half-timbered houses still exist today.[67] Many of the houses in Ystad were built in the renaissance style that was common in the entire Øresund Region, and which has also been preserved in Elsinore (Helsingør). Among Ystad's half-timbered houses is the oldest such building in Scandinavia, Pilgrändshuset from 1480.[68]

In Göinge, located in the northern part of Scania, the architecture was not shaped by a scarcity of wood, and the pre-17th-century farms consisted of graying, recumbent timber buildings around a small grass and cobblestone courtyard. Only a small number of the original Göinge farms remain today. During two campaigns, the first in 1612 by Gustav II Adolf and the second by Charles XI in the 1680s, entire districts were levelled by fire.[69] In Örkened Parish, in what is now eastern Osby Municipality, the buildings were destroyed to punish the different villages for their protection of members of the Snapphane movement in the late 17th century.[70] An original, 17th century Göinge farm, Sporrakulla Farm, has been preserved in a forest called Kullaskogen, a nature reserve close to Glimåkra in Östra Göinge. According to the local legend, the farmer saved the farm in the first raid of 1612 by setting a forest fire in front of it, making the Swedish troops believe that the farm had already been plundered and set ablaze.[71]

A number of Scanian towns flourished during the Viking Age. The city of Lund is believed to have been founded by the Viking-king Sweyn Forkbeard.[72] Scanian craftsmen and traders were prospering during this era and Denmark's first and largest mint was established in Lund. The first Scanian coins have been dated to 870 AD.[73] The archaeological excavations performed in the city indicate that the oldest known stave church in Scania was built by Sweyn Forkbeard in Lund in 990.[74] In 1103, Lund was made the archbishopric for all of Scandinavia.[75]

Many of the old churches in today's Scanian landscape stem from the medieval age, although many church renovations, extensions and destruction of older buildings took place in the 16th and 19th century. From those that have kept features of the authentic style, it is still possible to see how the medieval, Romanesque or Renaissance churches of Danish Scania looked like. Many Scanian churches have distinctive crow-stepped gables and sturdy church porches, usually made of stone.

The first version of Lund Cathedral was built in 1050, in sandstone from Höör, on the initiative of Canute the Holy.[75] The oldest parts of today's cathedral are from 1085, but the actual cathedral was constructed during the first part of the 12th century with the help of stone cutters and sculptors from the Rhine valley and Italy, and was ready for use in 1123. It was consecrated in 1145 and for the next 400 years, Lund became the ecclesiastical power center for Scandinavia and one of the most important cities in Denmark.[74] The cathedral was altered in the 16th century by architect Adam van Düren and later by Carl Georg Brunius and Helgo Zetterwall.

Lund skyline, with the Cathedral towers.

Scania also has churches built in the gothic style, such as Saint Petri Church in Malmö, dating from the early 14th century. Similar buildings can be found in all Hansa cities around the Baltic Sea (such as Helsingborg and Rostock). The parishes in the countryside did not have the means for such extravagant buildings. Possibly the most notable countryside church is the ancient and untouched stone church in Dalby. It is the oldest stone church in Sweden, built around the same time as Lund cathedral. After the Lund Cathedral was built, many of the involved workers travelled around the province and used their acquired skills to make baptism fonts, paintings and decorations, and naturally architectural constructions.

Scania has 240 palaces and country estates—more than any other province in Sweden.[76] Many of them received their current shape during the 16th century, when new or remodelled castles started to appear in greater numbers, often erected by the reuse of stones and material from the original 11th–15th-century castles and abbeys found at the estates. Between 1840 and 1900, the landed nobility in Scania built and rebuilt many of the castles again, often by modernizing previous buildings at the same location in a style that became typical for Scania. The style is a mixture of different architectural influences of the era, but frequently refers back to the style of the 16th-century castles of the Reformation era, a time when the large estates of the Catholic Church were made Crown property and the abbeys bartered or sold to members of the aristocracy by the Danish king.[77] For many of the 19th century remodels, Danish architects were called in. According to some scholars, the driving force behind the use of historical Scanian architecture, as interpreted by 19th century Danish architects using Dutch Renaissance style, was a wish to refer back to an earlier era when the aristocracy had special privileges and political power in relation to the Danish king.[78]

Language, literature, and art

Scanian dialects have various local native idioms and speech patterns, and realizes diphthongs and South Scandinavian Uvular trill, as opposed to the supradental /r/-sound characteristic of spoken Standard Swedish. They are very similar to the dialect of Danish spoken in Bornholm, Denmark. The prosody of the Scanian dialects has more in common with German, Danish and Dutch (and sometimes also with English, although to a lesser extent) than with the prosody of central Swedish dialects.[79]

Famous Scanian authors include Victoria Benedictsson, (1850–1888) from Domme, Trelleborg, who wrote about the inequality of women in the 19th century society, but who also authored regional stories about Scania, such as Från Skåne of 1884; Ola Hansson[80] (1860–1925) from Hönsinge, Trelleborg; Vilhelm Ekelund (1880–1949) from Stehag, Eslöv; Fritiof Nilsson Piraten (1895–1972) from Vollsjö, Sjöbo; Hjalmar Gullberg (1898–1961) from Malmö; Artur Lundkvist (1906–1991) from Hagstad, Perstorp; Hans Alfredsson (born 1931) and Jacques Werup (born 1945), both from Malmö. Birgitta Trotzig (1929-2011) from Gothenburg has written several historic novels set in Scania, such as The Exposed of 1957, which describes life in 17th century Scania with a primitive country priest as its main character and the 1961 novel A Tale from the Coast, which recounts a legend about human suffering and is set in Scania in the 15th century. Gabriel Jönsson (1892–1984) from Ålabodarna, Landskrona.

A printing-house was established in the city of Malmö in 1528. It became instrumental in the propagation of new ideas and during the 16th century, Malmö became the center for the Danish reformation.[81]

Traditional Scanian nuptial array in Auguste Racinet's Le costume historique.

Scanian culture, as expressed through the medium of textile art, has received international attention during the last decade.[82] The art form, often referred to as Scanian Marriage Weavings, flourished from 1750 for a period of 100 years, after which it slowly vanished. Consisting of small textile panels mainly created for wedding ceremonies, the art is strongly symbolic, often expressing ideas about fertility, longevity and a sense of hope and joy.[83] The Scanian artists were female weavers working at home, who had learned to weave at a young age, often in order to have a marriage chest filled with beautiful tapestries as a dowry.[84]

According to international collectors and art scholars, the Scanian patterns are of special interest for the striking similarities with Roman, Byzantine and Asian art. The designs are studied by art historians tracing how portable decorative goods served as transmitters of art concepts from culture to culture, influencing designs and patterns along the entire length of the ancient trade routes.[84] The Scanian textiles show how goods traded along the Silk Road brought Coptic, Anatolian, and Chinese designs and symbols into the folk art of far away regions like Scania, where they were reinterpreted and integrated into the local culture. Some of the most ancient designs in Scanian textile art are pairs of birds facing a tree with a "great bird" above, often symbolized simply by its wings.[84] Regionally derived iconography include mythological Scanian river horses in red (Swedish: bäckahästar), with horns on their foreheads and misty clouds from their nostrils.[84] The horse motif has been traced to patterns on 4th- and 5th-century Egyptian fabrics, but in Scanian art it is transformed to illustrate the Norse river horse of Scanian folklore.[85]


The title of duke was reintroduced in Sweden in 1772 and since this time, Swedish princes have been created dukes of various provinces, although the titles are purely nominal.

The Dukes of Scania have been:

From his marriage, in 1905, King Gustaf VI Adolf had his summer residence at Sofiero Palace in Helsingborg. He and his family spent their summers there, and the cabinet meetings held there during the summer months forced the ministers to arrive by night train from Stockholm. He died at Helsingborg Hospital in 1973.


Football in the province is administered by Skånes Fotbollförbund.

Rugby is played in Scania by the Skåne Crusaders who play in the Sweden Rugby League.

See also


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  80. "Poems" of 1884 and "Notturno" of 1885 celebrate the natural beauty and folkways of Scania. The result of a globetrotting life style, Ola Hansson's later poetry had various continental influences, but like many other Scanian writers', his authorship often reflected the tension between cosmopolitan culture and regionalism. For larger trends and a historic perspective on Scanian literature, see Vinge, Louise (ed.) Skånes litteraturhistoria del I, ISBN 978-91-564-1048-2, and Skånes litteraturhistoria del II, ISBN 978-91-564-1049-9, Corona: Malmö, 1996–1997. (In Swedish).
  81. Infotek Öresund. Litteraturhistoria, Malmö. Fact sheet produced by Infotek Öresund, a cooperative project between the public libraries of Helsingborg, Elsinore, Copenhagen and Malmö, published online by Malmö Public Library, 4 November 2005. (In Swedish). Archived 5 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  82. See for example: Monument to Love and Textiles de Skåne des XVIIIe et XIXe Siècles. Scanian textiles from the Khalili Collection exhibited at the Swedish Cultural Centre in Paris and the Boston University Art Gallery. Retrieved 15 January 2007. Archived 18 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  83. Keelan, Major Andrew and Wendy Keelan. The Khalili Collection - An Introduction. The Khalili Family Trust. Retrieved 15 January 2007. Archived 18 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
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  85. Lundström, Lena (2003). "Vattenväsen i väverskans händer". Curator's description of the exhibition "Aqvaväsen" at Trelleborgs Museum in Vårt Trelleborg, 2:2003, pp. 20-21. Available online in pdf format. (In Swedish).


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Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Scania.


Coordinates: 55°48′N 13°37′E / 55.800°N 13.617°E / 55.800; 13.617

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