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town and port, Skane lan (county), southern Sweden, on the Baltic Sea. During the Middle Ages it was an important herring-fishing and commercial centre, but it declined after the herring left the area in the 15th century. After being plundered during war (1563-70) between Denmark and Sweden and devastated by fire in 1617, it lost its charter in 1619 and did not regain its former status as a town until 1867. With the beginning of steamer service to Sassnitz (Germany) in 1897, followed by ferry service in 1909, the town grew in importance. Because of its ferry service, Trelleborg was a focal point for the transportation of sick and wounded and the exchange of prisoners during World Wars I and II. As Sweden's southernmost town, Trelleborg is a major crossing point to continental Europe and maintains a busy coastal trade as well. The modern, well-equipped harbour has been conducive to industrialization, notably sugar refining and the manufacture of rubber goods. Pop. (2005 est.) mun., 39,830.