Gothenburg , or Gottenbnrg (Swed. Goti borg). I. A laen or province of Sweden, in the S. W. part of the kingdom, bordering on the Catte-gat, the Skager Rack, and Norway; area, 1,890 sq. m.; pop. in 1873, 230,899. It forms a narrow strip of land between the mountains which separate it on the east from the province of Elfsborg and the rugged coast, which is indented by numerous bays and bordered by many small islands. The climate is severe; the soil is sterile, and there are few manufactures except in the capital city. II. The capital of the province, and the second commercial city of Sweden, at the head of a fiord on the Catte-gat at the mouth of the Gotha river, 240 m. W. S. W. of Stockholm; pop. in 1873, 59,329.
It has a good harbor, with 17 ft. of water, enclosed by two long ridges of rock about 1 1/4 m. apart. There is anchorage for vessels of large size, but only the smaller craft can come up to the shore. The city is intersected by navigable canals, and as it occupies marshy ground, the houses of the lower town are generally built on piles. The upper town stands on adjacent rocky heights. The houses are mostly of stone or stuccoed brick, with terraced roofs. The principal public edifices are the cathedral, the Swedish church, the new exchange, the arsenal, the town hall, the theatre, and the East India house. The manufactures comprise cottons, woollens, sail cloth, tobacco, snuff, glass, paper, leather, refined sugar, and porter. Most of the merchants are Scotch and English. In 1872 the entries at the port were 2,161 vessels, of 598,487 tons; the clearances 1,800 vessels, of 548,545 tons. The city was founded by Gustavus Adolphus in 1618, and was once well fortified. It has had frequent fires.