Gothenburg was founded by King Adolphus of Sweden in 1621.  Because of its west coast location, the city was to serve as a military outpost guarding the country against invading Danes, with whom Sweden was warring at the time.  Thirty years later, the Danish, as well as the Norwegian, territories became part of Sweden with the Treaty of Roskilde.  No longer needed as a military base, Gothenburg grew, and because of its strategic location soon became a prosperous business port. 

Fishing and the importing and exporting of goods were the city's main industries.  It was the location where the Swedish East India Company was founded in 1731, and by the 19th Century Gothenburg was a major industrial center and seaport in the country, handling up to half of the country's foreign business.  It was also the main port from which many Swedes emigrated to North America in the early 20th Century.

Today Gothenburg is Sweden's second largest city after Stockholm and is a major tourist attraction, especially during the summer months.