The High Coast (Swedish: Höga kusten) is a dramatic coastal area and
The area is part of the historical province Ångermanland, and has historically simply been known as the Ångermanland Coast. The name High Coast was coined in connection with a 1974 report on the area. The area is intersected by Ångerman river. Close to its mouth it is bridged by Högakustenbron, which since its 1997 inauguration has become a symbol of the area. Today Ångermanland, together with the province Medelpad, constitutes Västernorrland County.
During the last ice age the High Coast, like most of Northern Europe, was covered by a continental block of ice. At the center of the glacier, which could be found in the Baltic Sea just off the shore from the High Coast, the ice reached a thickness of 3 km (1.9 mi)! The immense weight of the ice depressed the earth’s crust. As the ice started to melt away some 10,000 years ago, the earth crust slowly started to rebound to its former position, causing the landmass to slowly rise further and further above sea level. While this phenomenon can be observed around all of the Nordic countries it is at its most extreme in the High Coast, as the world record of post glacial rebound is held by Skuleberget, where the historic coastline is presently 286 m (938 ft) above sea level! The rebound still continues today, at a rate of about 8 mm (0.31 in) per year. In 2000 UNESCO listed the area as a world heritage, claiming that: The site affords outstanding opportunities for the understanding of the important processes that formed the glaciated and land uplift areas of the Earth’s surface. In 2006 the heritage site was expanded to also include Kvarken Archipelago, across the Finnish border.
Aside from making the area scientifically interesting, the post glacial rebound has also made the High Coast very scenic. While most of the coast of Baltic sea is relatively flat, the High Coast is known for its dramatic cliffs and steep hills.
The Ådalen shootings, which occurred in the area surrounding Kramfors in 1931, is one of the most famous events in Swedish political history. After a drawn-out industrial conflict at the pulp factory at Långrör, the workers union called for a general strike in the local timber and pulp industries. After a major rally, thousands of workers marched towards some strike-breakers’ quarters in the village Lunde. While the strike-breakers where defended by military, the troops failed to stop the protesters. In the resulting confusion the military opened machine gun fire towards the strikers, causing the death of five people. The event caused a raging national debate, deeply divided along political lines, as left-wing newspapers condemned the “murders”, while the political right claimed that the military had been forced to open fire to defend themselves and innocent civilians. The event is still remembered in popular culture, for example in worker’s anthems and in the 1969 movie dramatization “Ådalen 31”.