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==== History ====
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The miners and iron workers who came to Sweden from Belgium were referred to as “Walloons.” The Walloons, or Vallons (Swedish spelling), were an ethnic group which spoke a dialect of French and lived in the southern and eastern Belgium, along with neighboring areas in France. Most of the Walloons were iron workers coming from the Liege and Namur regions, along the Meuse River. Many important families today in Sweden were originally Walloon, including some nobility.  
 
The miners and iron workers who came to Sweden from Belgium were referred to as “Walloons.” The Walloons, or Vallons (Swedish spelling), were an ethnic group which spoke a dialect of French and lived in the southern and eastern Belgium, along with neighboring areas in France. Most of the Walloons were iron workers coming from the Liege and Namur regions, along the Meuse River. Many important families today in Sweden were originally Walloon, including some nobility.  
    
<br>Sweden and Belgium have been trading partners since the 9th century. During the Middle Ages, these two countries became partners through an alliance of the trading cities of the Baltic and North Sea. From the 10th to the 16th centuries, the city of Flanders became one of the most flourishing areas in Europe. It was a region overlapping Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Sweden was still a major agricultural country with a smaller population. From the second half of the 15th century, Sweden’s foreign trade expanded. Textiles coming from Flanders were traded for copper and iron from Sweden.  
 
<br>Sweden and Belgium have been trading partners since the 9th century. During the Middle Ages, these two countries became partners through an alliance of the trading cities of the Baltic and North Sea. From the 10th to the 16th centuries, the city of Flanders became one of the most flourishing areas in Europe. It was a region overlapping Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Sweden was still a major agricultural country with a smaller population. From the second half of the 15th century, Sweden’s foreign trade expanded. Textiles coming from Flanders were traded for copper and iron from Sweden.  
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==== Early Immigration ====
    
<br>For centuries, iron remained the center of bilateral relations. In 1595 Duke Karl, son of Gustav Vasa requested the help of his Belgian friend, Wellam de Besche, to help develop the metallurgy industry of Sweden. The members of the de Besche family were the first Walloons in Sweden. At that time, the metallurgy and arms industries of Wallonia were some of the most advanced in Europe. After Karl became king in 1599, many Walloon immigrants arrived in Sweden to help achieve the royals’ dreams of developing the Swedish industry.  
 
<br>For centuries, iron remained the center of bilateral relations. In 1595 Duke Karl, son of Gustav Vasa requested the help of his Belgian friend, Wellam de Besche, to help develop the metallurgy industry of Sweden. The members of the de Besche family were the first Walloons in Sweden. At that time, the metallurgy and arms industries of Wallonia were some of the most advanced in Europe. After Karl became king in 1599, many Walloon immigrants arrived in Sweden to help achieve the royals’ dreams of developing the Swedish industry.  
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<br>Louis de Geer, the so-called father of the Swedish industry, persuaded a lot of miners and iron workers to emigrate from the Ardennes to Sweden to work on his many estates. These craftsmen were brought due to their unique skills. The ironworks business became very successful, prompting others to come. In 1620, Louis de Geer moved to Sweden and took over the Crown’s armament factories. De Geer built a solid industrial empire. <br>  
 
<br>Louis de Geer, the so-called father of the Swedish industry, persuaded a lot of miners and iron workers to emigrate from the Ardennes to Sweden to work on his many estates. These craftsmen were brought due to their unique skills. The ironworks business became very successful, prompting others to come. In 1620, Louis de Geer moved to Sweden and took over the Crown’s armament factories. De Geer built a solid industrial empire. <br>  
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==== Bruks ====
    
<br>Within the Uppland region, which includes counties of Uppsala and Stockholm, all the necessary raw materials for iron production were available: ore from the Dannemora mines, forests for charcoal, and water for powering blast furnaces and forges. More than thirty ironworks, called Vallon bruks, were established in the region. The name derived from their origin in Belgium’s Walloon region and the word bruk, meaning an area where natural ore resources were available. Many of these Vallon bruks are well-preserved, unique tourist attractions and a few still maintain world-leading metal industries.  
 
<br>Within the Uppland region, which includes counties of Uppsala and Stockholm, all the necessary raw materials for iron production were available: ore from the Dannemora mines, forests for charcoal, and water for powering blast furnaces and forges. More than thirty ironworks, called Vallon bruks, were established in the region. The name derived from their origin in Belgium’s Walloon region and the word bruk, meaning an area where natural ore resources were available. Many of these Vallon bruks are well-preserved, unique tourist attractions and a few still maintain world-leading metal industries.  

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