Bollnäs - feel the City
At Onbacken in Bollnäs you find the remains of two big farm houses and some graves from the Iron Age (200-400 AD). The church of Bollnäs was built at the beginning of the 14th century.
The river Ljusnan, that passes through Bollnäs, and later the railway (1861) were important transport axes. Log driving on the rivers was the main transportation method and was used up until 1967 on Ljusnan.
In the 1860s, Georg Henric Collini (born in Alfta) returned to Sweden after some years in the USA. He wanted to build ”Bollnässtaden” after an American model and bought a large piece of land next to the church. New railway lines were built at the same time and the town expanded. There were many saw mills in the area and an important workshop for trains.
Between 1963 and 1997, there was a big mental hospital in Bollnäs, with more than 600 patients and around 1000 employees. Many people came to the hospital to work, and some of them remained here.
Today Bollnäs is a modern town in the heart of Hälsingland with a mixed population. The number of immigrants and refugees has grown during the last decades bringing new opportunities and new challenges to Bollnäs. Many of the new citizens of Bollnäs start their own businesses, where people can discover new products.
The sport bandy is very much associated with Bollnäs. The season lasts from October to March and Bollnäs GIF plays in the top national league. On December 26th every year, there’s a very important derby match against the neighbour town Edsbyn, and many people interrupt the Christmas celebration to go to the game and cheer for the team.
Sometimes Bollnäs is called ”Tomtarnas stad” (”tomte” is a Swedish version of the man who comes to see you at Christmas). The last years, some mopedists dressed up like ”tomtar” drive around town wishing people a God Jul (Merry Christmas).
Järnåldern = the iron age
Flottning = log driving
Bandy = bandy
Annandagsderby = Boxing Day derby