|Nickname:||Mälarstaden, Gurkstaden (Cucumber City)|
|Subdivision Name1:||Västerås Municipality|
|Subdivision Name2:||Västmanland County|
|Area Total Km2:||51.73|
|Area Total Sq Mi:||19.97|
|Population As Of:||2005-12-31|
|Population Density Km2:||2068|
|Utc Offset Dst:||+2|
Västerås [vɛstər'oːs] is a city in central Sweden, located on the shore of Lake Mälaren in the province Västmanland, some 100 km west of Stockholm. The city has a population of 107,005 inhabitants (2005) out of the municipal total of 133,623 (2007).
Västerås is one of the oldest cities in Sweden and Northern Europe. The name originates from Västra Aros, which refers to the estuary of the river Svartån. The area has been populated since the Nordic Viking Age, before 1000 AD. At the beginning of the 11th century it was the second largest city in Sweden, and by the 12th century had become the seat of the bishop.
Anundshög is Sweden's biggest burial mounds located just outside the City of Västerås. It was built about 500 AD and is over 74 yards wide and is almost 10 yards high.
In the ensuing centuries a cathedral and a monastery were built. The first City Arms date from the end of the 13th century.
In 1527 king Gustav I of Sweden called together the riksdag in Västerås. During the riksdag Sweden the decision was made to transform Sweden into a protestant state and removing the power of the Catholic church.
In the 18th and 19th centuries the growing of cucumbers was frequent, and Västerås received the nickname Gurkstaden (Cucumber City), which is still occasionally heard today, also Bikecity.
Västerås is predominantly known as an industrial city, but is also a retailing and logistics city. Västerås wants to distinguish itself as Västerås - Mälarstaden, which means "Västerås -- the city by Lake Mälaren", in order to attract tourists and new inhabitants, as well as students to the local university college, Mälardalen University (approximately 16,000 enrolled students in Västerås and in the nearby Eskilstuna). To this effect, they are using a designed logo as a branding in some official contexts, replacing the coat of arms.Västerås has the largest lakeside port in Scandinavia on Lake Mälaren. Västerås also has a skyscraper cordially nicknamed "Skrapan" (English: The Scraper) which has Sweden's highest cocktail bar, the Sky Bar on the 24th floor. Västerås hosts Power Big Meet, an annual event where owners of typically high powered American cars can meet.
In 1891, the Turbine House, a small hydroelectric dam was built on Svartån, in central Västerås. This early electrification encouraged ASEA, a large electricity equipment manufacturer, to concentrate its operations in Västerås, shifting focus away from Arboga. Later, after a merger with BBC Brown Boveri, ASEA became ABB. As a result, Västerås became its de facto Swedish capital. There, it is situated mainly at the Mimer Complex in the city centre with production facilities in Finnslätten and Saltängen.
One of the historical reasons that made Västerås a city is its trading-friendly location by the river Svartån and lake Mälaren. The city remains one of the main logistical centers in Sweden due to its central location in the densely populated region Mälardalen and favourable infrastructure connections with railways, waterways and highways. Amongst others, ICA AB has one of its main distribution centres located in Västerås.
Västerås is the birth place of multinational clothing retailer H&M, their first store was opened in the town centre in 1947.