city and seaport, Skane lan (county), southern Sweden, at the narrowest part of The Sound (Oresund), opposite the Danish town of Helsingor (Elsinore). It is the most convenient place for motor traffic to cross to and from the European continent. Because of its situation, Helsingborg is known as "the Pearl of The Sound." It was first mentioned as a town in 1085 and was of great military and political importance during the European Middle Ages because of its strong fortress. Ceded to Sweden by Denmark in 1658, Helsingborg was thereafter laid waste several times by the Danes before hostilities ended in the early 18th century. The abolition in 1857 of the toll for crossing The Sound marked the beginning of the town's commercial prosperity.
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