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Old April 2nd, 2017, 07:23 PM   #2861
NordikNerd
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Before november 1970 this was the E4, the main road from Helsingborg to Stockholm.
It looks like the road is made out of interlinked concrete squares.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 12:07 AM   #2862
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It looks like the road is made out of interlinked concrete squares.
Many old roads in Europe (1920s-1950s) were built in that way.
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 03:18 AM   #2863
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Interesting that Finland actually had some (very few of course) much more modern roads in the 1930's, we used asphalt and these first sections served as part of Helsinki-Turku road up to 2009 as road 1/E18! But I'm sure Sweden had also them, or did they use concrete everywhere (Finland used it for example for some of the first motorways but it seems it's maintaining along with harsh winters was very costly)?
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 04:18 PM   #2864
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Originally Posted by italystf View Post
Many old roads in Europe (1920s-1950s) were built in that way.

No asphalt meant that these old concrete square roads required no maintenenance ?

Some of the oldest parts of today's E4 are made of these same type of concrete squares, but in later years they were covered with asphalt.

The oldest road in Sweden was the Göta highroad, it was the main route from Stockholm to the south of Sweden, it was completed in 1250, but some parts of it were already used in the bronze age. The road lost it's importance in the late 1600's.

It would be interesting to find a map of that entire road and follow it on a bicycle.

In Italy you have the Via Appia from 312 BC, are any parts of it of any importance for modern traffic ?
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Old April 3rd, 2017, 05:06 PM   #2865
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Quote:
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Interesting that Finland actually had some (very few of course) much more modern roads in the 1930's, we used asphalt and these first sections served as part of Helsinki-Turku road up to 2009 as road 1/E18! But I'm sure Sweden had also them, or did they use concrete everywhere (Finland used it for example for some of the first motorways but it seems it's maintaining along with harsh winters was very costly)?
Finland tried to use concrete slabs in a numerous test cases, but without a success. Concrete is non-elastic material and the roads paved with them just do not survive the melting of the frost during the spring. In addition, concrete is not that resistant to studs it was earlier expected.

The last test section was a few kilometers of the southbound 3/E12 motorway in Nurmijärvi, to the north of the exit 13. The test was to last for 20 years, but it was canceled after about five years, and the carriageway was repaved to asphalt.
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Old April 4th, 2017, 01:25 PM   #2866
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Originally Posted by RV View Post
Interesting that Finland actually had some (very few of course) much more modern roads in the 1930's, we used asphalt and these first sections served as part of Helsinki-Turku road up to 2009 as road 1/E18! But I'm sure Sweden had also them, or did they use concrete everywhere (Finland used it for example for some of the first motorways but it seems it's maintaining along with harsh winters was very costly)?

Before WW2 Sweden used either concrete or cobble stones (there were many quarries around the country that were supported by this, especially in Blekinge and Bohuslän, it was labour intensive to pave with during the Great Depression too) when highways were paved. Asphalt were for urban areas but not always common there either, back then teamsters still used carriage horses and many didn't like asphalt pavement.
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Old April 4th, 2017, 01:31 PM   #2867
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The oldest road in Sweden was the Göta highroad, it was the main route from Stockholm to the south of Sweden, it was completed in 1250, but some parts of it were already used in the bronze age. The road lost it's importance in the late 1600's.
The oldest road in Stockholm (which didn't exist prior to its founding ~AD 1250) perhaps.

The main streets of Lund and Skara can be traced to AD 1000 at the very least.

Then you have the documented paved road from 1000 BC that was discovered in Kvarnby, Scania, at the time Öresundsbroen was built:
http://www.lansstyrelsen.se/skane/Sv...aldersvag.aspx
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Old April 4th, 2017, 02:13 PM   #2868
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The oldest road

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Originally Posted by Grotlaufen View Post
The oldest road in Stockholm (which didn't exist prior to its founding ~AD 1250) perhaps.

The main streets of Lund and Skara can be traced to AD 1000 at the very least.
It is a question of definition to trace the first road in Sweden.

Roads that could be used by horse and carriage did not occur until
the mid-1700s.

So all roads before that were more like fotpaths that also were used by horsemen.

An interesting fact is that before 1860 swedish people needed a domestic passport otherwise they were not allowed to travel outside their parish.
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Old April 5th, 2017, 12:43 PM   #2869
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Fennoscandia via Göteborg-Stockholm-Turku-Porvoo-Russia is a really old market road. "The King's road" as it is called in Finland can be still be found in many locations (though not frequently paved) and is traced to 900-1300. So is "The Bull Road of Häme", an important medieval market route from Turku to southern inner Finland, which was it seems some of an organized society. The oldest paved streets are found in Turku and Porvoo, both key places at the King's Road. It's a pleasure to drive these curvy old sections.
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Old April 5th, 2017, 02:47 PM   #2870
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Fennoscandia via Göteborg-Stockholm-Turku-Porvoo-Russia is a really old market road. "The King's road" as it is called in Finland can be still be found in many locations (though not frequently paved) and is traced to 900-1300. So is "The Bull Road of Häme", an important medieval market route from Turku to southern inner Finland, which was it seems some of an organized society. The oldest paved streets are found in Turku and Porvoo, both key places at the King's Road. It's a pleasure to drive these curvy old sections.
Most of the ancient roads in Finland connected those castles Sweden built since the expansion to Finland: Turku, Raasepori, Viipuri, Hämeenlinna, Savonlinna, Korsholm, and some minor ones. Thus, their history is more less about the history of the Swedish administration.

The Bull Road still exists, and it dates back to pre-christianity era: The inland waterway between Tampere and Hämeenlinna has been inhabited since the stone age. However, the rivers from this area to the sea are not suitable for sailing. This is the reason why the ancient trade route was born.

Last edited by MattiG; April 5th, 2017 at 09:40 PM.
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Old April 5th, 2017, 07:34 PM   #2871
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NordikNerd View Post
It is a question of definition to trace the first road in Sweden.

Roads that could be used by horse and carriage did not occur until
the mid-1700s.

So all roads before that were more like fotpaths that also were used by horsemen.

The road in Kvarnby was paved with stones in the year 1000 BC (~3000 yrs ago). There are documented wheel tracks in place there as well, the road has clearly been used by heavy chariots and wagons. The road between Trelleborg/Hököpinge and Lund/Uppåkra at the eastern edge of modern Malmö is full of old burial mounds (and churches built in the last millennium), a clear sign it has been in place for a very long time.


You can read more in this article by one of the archeologists from these excavations (pages 98-100 have a picture from the excavation and are of the most interest as to the roads)
http://www.fotevikensmuseum.se/pdf/S...historia 1.pdf
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Old April 5th, 2017, 09:07 PM   #2872
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Originally Posted by Grotlaufen View Post
The oldest road in Stockholm (which didn't exist prior to its founding ~AD 1250) perhaps.

The main streets of Lund and Skara can be traced to AD 1000 at the very least.

Then you have the documented paved road from 1000 BC that was discovered in Kvarnby, Scania, at the time Öresundsbroen was built:
http://www.lansstyrelsen.se/skane/Sv...aldersvag.aspx
That's very simplified. Göta landsväg certainly traces it's history back further than the city of Stockholm. In fact, Stockholm is where it is because of the strategic importance of the site where Göta landsväg passed lake Mälaren on it's way north to Uppsala (which had been an important political hub since at least 600 AD). Norrström was where ships entering and leaving Mälaren intersected with over-land traffic, creating a natural point of military and economic interest. Archaeological evidence shows that the passage of ships through Norrström was regulated by at least 1000 AD. Västerlånggatan probably follows the path of Göta landsväg rounding the higher parts of Stadsholmen. The road is older than the city.

The road north to south through Old Uppsala, probably the continuation of Göta landsväg there, was in use by 700 AD and marked by a km long monument of massive wooden poles.
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Old April 5th, 2017, 09:56 PM   #2873
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I wonder if the Göta Highroad was a real earthed road with a graveled surface or a just
tracks worn down by the feet of humans and animals.

If I you wanted to go from Stockholm to Göteborg in the 1600's it was probably faster to go by ship and not by road.

It seems like the Göta highroad still can be traced around Stockholm, but further south no one knows where it used to go.
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Old April 5th, 2017, 11:47 PM   #2874
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The standard of the Göta landsväg probably varied considerably. There was no centralized government until well into the middle ages, so upkeep of the road was the responsibility of local landowners. Well traveled stretches in richer agricultural areas were probably well kept with bridges over wetlands and streams and constructed road banks, while the parts running through sparsly populated forests and heath land probably looked more like slightly more formal footpaths. Carts and wagons were probably rare and mostly used locally, where the road network allowed it.

The 1600's are not a good proxy for Iron Age conditions. The quality of roads and pathways might very well have been worse in the early modern era than during the viking age. Christianization and the centralization of wealth and political power to a very small aristocracy shattered the social organization of the pre-Christian period in which a rather large land owning "middle class" worked together to maintain some local functions (roads, "ting-sites" etc).

Not coincidentally, one of the most common virtues mentioned on rune stones (ca 900-1100 AD) in central Sweden is the construction of road banks and bridges. Wealthy farmers clearly maintained roads crossing their estates at least partly as a way of showing and maintaining status, and when rune momunments became fashionable people were eager to claim credit in writing for improving their roads.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 04:54 PM   #2875
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1000 BC? That seems waay too far, though very interesting (a road that existed for example in 1300 certainly existed as a route also in 1000 AD). But in 1000 BC all Fennoscandia was way too far from that stage of progress, I mean even Rome didn't exist! BUT all can be possible. Civilization is constantly being proved to be everywhere much older than it was thought before, some say (and I think it is possible) it existed even before the last Ice Age. So who knows.

In Finland interestingly main roads were paved in the 1930's with asphalt and tarmac instead of stones or concrete - Tuusula road, Turku road, Porvoo road... Concrete was used during a short period in the 50's. I wonder if small sections still exist, MattiG will know. I think I haw seen some. Of course, concrete is much a better material to use in Skåne than in Lapland. In Skåne I remember driving long sections.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 05:53 PM   #2876
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In Finland interestingly main roads were paved in the 1930's with asphalt and tarmac instead of stones or concrete - Tuusula road, Turku road, Porvoo road... Concrete was used during a short period in the 50's. I wonder if small sections still exist, MattiG will know. I think I haw seen some. Of course, concrete is much a better material to use in Skåne than in Lapland. In Skåne I remember driving long sections.
I do not believe that any of the concrete sections from the main roads of the 1950's are still alive.

Instead, some quiet streets have survived, like this:

https://www.google.com/maps/@61.1698...8i6656!6m1!1e1

The concrete surface is original, and is was laid in 1931, almost 90 years ago. About 500 meters of that street is still left. Originally, it was the north end of the rural road between Imatra and Enso. The industrial area of Enso is nowadays known as Svetogorsk of Russia.
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Old April 8th, 2017, 02:08 PM   #2877
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1000 BC? That seems waay too far, though very interesting (a road that existed for example in 1300 certainly existed as a route also in 1000 AD). But in 1000 BC all Fennoscandia was way too far from that stage of progress, I mean even Rome didn't exist! BUT all can be possible. Civilization is constantly being proved to be everywhere much older than it was thought before, some say (and I think it is possible) it existed even before the last Ice Age. So who knows.
Some local routes probably have followed the same path since the Bronze Age. This can be seen in the distribution of archaeological remains along certain roads. These are natural pathways, often on high, dry ground that have been practical for transportation for millennia. Most of course wasn't pawed until modern times though.

Constructed roads do exist from the Bronze Age (ca 1800-500 BC) in Sweden, but they are short and probably either served very local needs or were ritualistic in nature, used for religious processions or ceremonies.
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Old April 9th, 2017, 11:47 PM   #2878
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Some local routes probably have followed the same path since the Bronze Age. This can be seen in the distribution of archaeological remains along certain roads. These are natural pathways, often on high, dry ground that have been practical for transportation for millennia. Most of course wasn't pawed until modern times though.
I wonder if there were separate winter and summer routes like in the inland Finland. There are less lakes in Sweden, and the winters are shorter in the south part of the country. Transporting heavy goods over frozen lakes and moors is easier than through forest paths.
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Old April 10th, 2017, 12:10 AM   #2879
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In Italy you have the Via Appia from 312 BC, are any parts of it of any importance for modern traffic ?
There's an 11km stretch just south of Rome city centre called 'Via Appia Antica' that can still be used, although now it's closed to motor vehicle between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., except for city buses and those who need it to access properties along the way.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old April 10th, 2017, 12:28 AM   #2880
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I wonder if there were separate winter and summer routes like in the inland Finland. There are less lakes in Sweden, and the winters are shorter in the south part of the country. Transporting heavy goods over frozen lakes and moors is easier than through forest paths.
Probably, but that would be very difficult to substantiate using archaeology. There are medieval written sources talking about important waterways using lakes and rivers, especially in the Lake Mälaren region. But I don't know if they make a distinction between summer and winter travel.

Heavy goods were mostly transported by boat though, except perhaps in the most land locked agricultural areas. The number of prehistoric boats that have been discovered outnumber wagons many times. Wagons are actually a very rare archaeological find.
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