Gotland is an island province in East Sweden, largely unspoiled and with fabulous beaches, often referred to as the "Pearl of the Baltic" or "Queen of the Baltic." Actually, Gotland may even seem like a country unto itself, where resident Gotlanders frequently display that universal "island independence" syndrome, feeling aloof from Sweden.
Gotland is not a large province, with a population of around 58,000 and an area of approximately 3,140 square km (1,212 square miles), which is the same size as Rhode Island. But it is unquestionably a pretty province, covered with unique vegetation and a spectacular coastline dotted with dramatic cliffs and remote yet lovely beaches. There's a smattering of picturesque wooden houses, interspersed with historic, country medieval churches – 92 of them! – built between 1150 and 1400, that are particularly interesting to visitors and history buffs.
Gotland has a mild climate by Swedish standards, and a largely agricultural economy, followed closely by tourism. Its principal population center and capital is Visby, a well-preserved picturebook medieval town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with nearly half the island's population.
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