Kristianstad krĭstyänˈstäd [key], city (1990 pop. 31,310), SE Sweden, on the Helge River. Its nearby seaport, Åhus, is on the Baltic Sea. Kristianstad is a commercial and industrial center, located in a fertile agricultural region. Manufactures include textiles, machinery, and processed food. Founded (1614) by Christian IV of Denmark, Kristianstad changed hands frequently, but passed definitively to Sweden in 1678. It is the earliest example of Renaissance town planning in N Europe. A church built (12th cent.) by Archbishop Absalon is nearby.

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