Malaren was the centered of Swedish political for centuries, forcefully lake's outlet when the rising land made navigation for large boats between the sea and lake impractical. The oldest record of the city consists of two letters dating from 1252. Within a hundred years, Stockholm was the largest city in Sweden, dominated by an impregnable castle and surrounded by a defensive wall. During the period of the Kalmar Union, the king's governor directed affairs from the castle. The city was periodically ravaged by fire until timber buildings with turf roofs were replaced with brick structures. In 1471, the Danish King Christian I besieged Stockholm while attempting to quell the rebellious Sten Sture, but his 5000-strong army was routed by the Swedes just outside the city walls at the Battle of Brunkeberg. Even after the Danish retreat to Copenhagen, trouble between unionists and separatists continued.The new king then ruled the city with a heavy hand though the role of commerce dwindled and the church was extinguished entirely, royal power grew and the city revolved around the court. Gustav's son Erik XIV racked up taxation on the burghers to fund wars.The city rapidly industrialised and expanded, and by 1915 it was home to 364,000 people. In 1960 City major transformation started, when large 'new towns' sprung up around the outskirts and extensive areas of 'slums' were flattened to make way for concrete office blocks, motorways and other unsightly developments.
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