Located in Skåne , the southern tip of Sweden, 26 km across the sea (Öresund) from Copenhagen, Malmö is Sweden's third largest city. Malmo was chartered as a city during the 13th century, at which time the region belonged to Denmark. In 1658 it passed to Sweden. Originally, Malmö's harbor was poor, and the city served mainly as a herring market until 1775, when the port facilities were improved. After 1800, Malmö began to develop as an industrial city.
Malmö also features many attractions dating back to the Middle Ages. Throughout Skåne there are more than 200 castles and manor houses, many of them open to tourists, and the many inns offer the province´s delectable cuisine.
On the whole Malmö is interesting when it comes to architecture. In the culture quarters of S:t Gertrud one finds the oldest half-timbered house in Malmö, "Thottska huset" built in 1558, and many other historically interesting buildings. The S:t Petri church from the 13th century in Baltic Gothic style has a retable that is one of the largest ones in Europe.