If you are a tourist planning to visit Sweden, you shoud be aware of this story. There have been rumors of a city dwelled by 25,00 lesbians somewhere in the northern parts of the country. The Swedish tourist authorities (not to mention the Internet queries) are being swarmed with questions about this intriguing topic.
The story has been spreading in Asia - in Chinese media, for example, you can find some information about a city called "Chako Paul City", supposedly founded in 1820 in northern Sweden by a wealthy man-hating widow who banned all males from entering the settlement. After some time, all of the women were to become lesbian, “because they could not suppress their sexual needs,” reports China’s Harbin News service. The city can be recognized by an medieval castle built there to protect the city, as well as tall, blonde and strong women guarding the premises.
Needless to say, the Swedish tourist authorities are as surprised as the rest of the nation. Claes Bertilson, the spokesman for SALAR, says: “I've no idea where this came from, but it's not true. At 25,000 residents, the town would be one of the largest in northern Sweden, and I find it hard to believe that you could keep something like that a secret for more than 150 years.”
Mountains in Lappland, Sweden.
(Wikimedia Commons/Alexandre Buisse (Nattfodd)/"GNU Free Documentation License")
Although Per Wilhelmsson of the tourist office in Umea in northern Sweden said he had never heard of Chako Paul City, he did confirm that tourism in the area is bustling.
“Our tourism industry is doing quite well, among the best in northern Sweden,” he said.
He also confirmed that no “women-only” city existed in northern Sweden, but the story reminded him of an 30-year old stunt carried out by Pajala, a northern Swedish town suffering from a different problem:
“They arranged for bus loads of women to come up to this town because there weren't enough of them,” he explained.
When asked what else might be drawing tourists to northern Sweden besides the chance to visit an isolated town filled with sexually frustrated females, Wilhelmsson had a theory of his own.
“It’s hard to say for sure, but I think part of it might be increased interest following our designation as Europe’s Cultural Capital for 2014,” he said.