Windstrand

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City and Riding of Windstrand
Stedr ond Tridingjr fan Windstrand
Clockwise from top-left: Asttun skyline, canal in West Kafmanensey, street in Sutburh, Port of Windstrand, Askanjaplakjh, Finanskrets in Centre Sten, Stande̊nsde̊rscurt
Clockwise from top-left: Asttun skyline, canal in West Kafmanensey, street in Sutburh, Port of Windstrand, Askanjaplakjh, Finanskrets in Centre Sten, Stande̊nsde̊rscurt
Flag of City and Riding of Windstrand
Flag
Coat of arms of City and Riding of Windstrand
Coat of arms
Motto: Gnosis Ginetai Ploutos
Greek: Knowledge Becomes Power
Location of City and Riding of Windstrand
Country Sondstead
Federal entity Windstrand
First mentioned 846
City rights 1113
Amalgamated 1189
Government
 • Lord Mayor Kris Petraitis (ind.)
 • President of the Council Ärtem Winter (KP)
Highest elevation 28
Lowest elevation 0
Population (2008)
 • City 1
 • Density 0
 • Metro 2
 • Metro density 0
Demonym(s) Windstrander
Time zone East Alisna Mean Time (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) East Alisna Summer Time (UTC+2) (UTC)
Website www.windstrand-stedr.zd

Windstrand (English pronunciation: [wɪnd'stɹænd], Sondsteadish pronunciation: [wɨnd'stʀɑnd]) is the largest city, former capital, and present royal seat of Sondstead, the core of the country's largest urban area, and the capital of Windstrand state. At the 2008 national census, the municipal population was 1,145,934 and the population of the greater metropolitan area was 2,389,573. All together, the metropolitan area is home to more than one seventh of Sondstead's population.

The former city of Sutburh on Kafmenensey, which became one of the cores of the modern city of Windstrand, was founded before 846 and since the 12th century and especially since it was granted city rights in 1113 became one of Sondstead's principle cultural, economic, and political centres. In 1189, the cities of Kanalholm, Sutburh, and Windstrand, on both sides of the Kafmenensey Channel, were amalgamated into the single city of Windstrand, and in 1314 the town of Kunsbankjr, now part of Windstrand, became the seat of the Sondsteadish monarchs. Save for between 1396 to 1455, it has been the royal seat ever since and was the sole political capital until 1886.

The city is regarded as one of the most beautiful and historic in Sondstead and is the undisputed cultural and financial capital of the country. Six of the country's ten largest companies by revenue are headquartered in Windstrand. Both the main private (Öferesker Palace) and official (Windstrand Palace) residences of the Sondsteadish monarch are in Windstrand, as are the headquarters of major state-owned corporations such as Sondsteadish State Railways and SRR and other institutions such as the Royal Bank of Sondstead and the federal Ministry for Culture. The state legislature of Windstrand is also located in the city.

History

Kunsbankjr Castle.
Period painting of Windstrand Harbour, circa 1750.

Windstrand originally grew out of four separate settlements; Kanalholm on the two islets in the Kafmanensey Channel, Kunsbankjr and Windstrand on the mainland, and Sutburh on Kafmensey itself. The dates the later three were founded are unknown, but Sutburh is first attested to in 846. Due to the good natural harbour provided by the channel, Sutburh grew into a small but prosperous trading settlement, but the collection of towns remained relatively minor compared to Äldrve further inland for many decades.

However, in 1103 and 1104 during the Sondsteadish Crusades, Pedershefn (then perhaps the most strategic town and port in Sondstead as it controlled the narrow channel connecting the Sea of Windstrand with the Gulf of Störnes and because of this controlling the approach to Äldrve) and then Äldrve itself were sacked by Nicene Christian crusaders and the King at the time, Osmund I the Martyr, killed. After this, the centre of gravity began to shift to Windstrand which, while less protected, had been left largely untouched.

While after the Crusade Sondstead became more isolationist and repressed the Catholic minority and "Frankish" or "Latin" influences for nearly a century, Windstrand's growth was, from the late 12th century, helped by it now being Sondstead's main trading port, and in 1264, King Gudmund V commissioned a royal castle outside the city, which was finished in 1290 and around which the town of Kunsbankjr grew. In 1314, King Sigmund moved his court there, the first time Windstrand had served as the royal seat.

In 1350 and 1351, Windstrand was struck by a plague, which killed the King at the time, Harald II, resulting in his only child, Agnes, being elected to the throne. During the ensuing Sondsteadish Civil Wars that pitted the nobility against the royal family and their supporters, Windstrand, dominated by it's great merchant families, was strongly royalist; during her reign, Agnes was taken to Kürfeld, the seat of her regent, the Count of Chamrland, and while she was the de jure queen Windstrand was held by the future King Christopher I. Likewise, in the Second Sondsteadish Civil War, the city held for six years until 1394, when it was captured and the siblings of the late King Erik IV and their children and spouses murdered in the Regicide of Windstrand.

For half a century, Rujrholt and then Sankt-Wiktorja served as the royal seat, but King Christopher III returned the royal court to Windstrand in 1455. While the city suffered it's worst fire in history in 1529, burning nearly half of the city, the King at the time, King John, chose to stay and rebuild rather than relocate the royal court as some in his inner circle suggested. While rebuilding took years, by the 17th century the city grew rapidly, buoyed by King Frederick II's foundation of the Sondsteadish East India Company and his great-granddaughter Queen Cecilia's great building projects, including commissioning Windstrand Palace in Centre Sten.

Windstrand was a hotspot for liberal agitation in the 19th century the focal point of the 1848 Uprising that lead to the creation of Sondstead's first liberal constitution, but for much of the later 19th century was bitterly divided between conservatives and liberals. During the Great Unrest, the city remained largely peaceful until the Winter Uprising began in January 1877 in Windstrand, which lead to the King's abdication and the creation of the present Sondsteadish constitution. As a result of the new constitution, the Sondsteadish parliament relocated to Asteriopol in 1886, leaving Windstrand as the royal seat and the economic centre but not the political capital.

From the late 1940s to the early 1970s, the city saw another wave of rapid expansion, fueled by ever-increasing urbanization, high birthrates, and immigration, with new suburban developments fanning out and other cities being subsumed into Greater Windstrand. Many new developments on the edges of the city were so-called pänelbürhen (Panel cities), blocks of concrete public housing intended as ultra-modern middle class neighborhoods but which soon became ghettoized, largely immigrant communities, perhaps the most notorious of which is Möritsbürh. The city also saw a great number of skyscrapers being built, transforming Centre Sten in particular.

Geography

Windstrand is located mostly on the narrow, low-lying coastal plain of Sondstead's southern coast, facing the Sea of Windstrand. It also consists of the islands of Kafmenensey, Lits-Kanalholm, and Stor-Kanalholm. The city is quite flat and is crisscrossed by canals. While the city does not sit on any major rivers or lakes, the small Kunsburn River flows for 22.3 kilometres (13.9 miles) through the western part of the city from it's source, E̊usbjussdam Pond in the small suburb of Künsstelr just north of the city, to it's mouth in Burnros and Westerkjirkjh district. The city's highest point is 28 metres (92 feet), in Kunsbankjr district.

Administratively, Windstrand is not de jure an independent municipality, but Windstrand Municipality and Windstrand Riding are coterminous and do not have independent administrative organs. As with many larger Sondsteadish cities, Windstrand is divided into districts (kretsen), of which there are fifteen. Contrary to some other cities in Sondstead, however, the districts do still have administrative significance; each has a directly elected council and a district mayor appointed by the city council, and each district makes up a constituency for city council elections.

Map of Windstrand's districts.
Districts of Windstrand City
  • Aldr Sten
  • Asttun
  • Beckin
  • Burnros and Eästerkjirkjh
  • Centre Sten
  • Doklande̊n
  • Dutch Quarter
  • East Kafmanensey
  • Kanalholmen
  • Kunsbankjr
  • Nerstrand
  • Nortpalas
  • Sutburh
  • Werfentörp
  • West Kafmanensey

Climate

An extreme December rainstorm in Windstrand.

Windstrand has a mild oceanic climate (Cfb), characterized by the effects of the Carolinian Warm Current and sits in a palearctic temperate mixed forest biome. Summers are warm and mild with a June-August mean of 16.95 °C (62.5 °F), while winters are cold, wet, and windy, with a December-February mean just below freezing. However, extreme weather is uncommon. The maritime influences on the climate mean that Spring comes relatively late but also that autumns are fairly mild. The city's northerly latitude just below the 59th parallel north means that on the longest day in summer daylight lasts for nearly eighteen and a half hours and on the shortest day in winter it lasts just six hours and eleven minutes.

Precipitation is moderate, increasing in the autumn and winter months and peaking in December. Snowfall is usually light and rarely comes before December or after March and snow cover tends to be short-lived. The city is often battered by storms between November and January, both snow and heavy rains, while in the summer such storms are fairly rare. Occasionally, Windstrand can be hit by strong extratropical cyclones, locally called Orkane̊n (Hurricanes) but internationally generally referred to as windstorms. These can bring particularly heavy rains, storm surges, and hurricane-force winds, mostly in the winter months, and at times knock out electricity to much of the state.


Parks and beaches

Torpark in Centre Sten, Windstrand.

Windstrand is dotted with green spaces and parks especially in it's more central districts and with beaches in it's waterfront ones. Many of the city's most famous parks are in Centre Sten and Kunsbanjkr, such as Torpark just outside the city's financial district and the Kunsburn Prömenäd along the Kunsburn for several kilometres in both districts. While not a typical park per se, the Centres-Windstrand Park is located in Centre Sten as well; it is a three and a half square kilometre car-free shopping and cultural district which encompasses Askanjaplakjh, Gre̊nrmarkt, Orangjstre̊t, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. The namesake hills of Kunsbankjr are also the location of Tet Kunsbankjr Hägen, frequently just called Hägenin (the Gardens), which is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, the most visited in Sondstead with more than three and a half million visitors a year, and includes wooden roller coaster which dates back to 1925, making it one of the oldest still operating.

Other parks in the city include Kjirisgräf Park in Doklande̊n and the gardens of Öferesker Palace in Nortpalas, which are open to the public on certain days. The most popular beaches in Windstrand are those on the south side of Kafmenensey, facing the Sea of Windstrand, such as Litssundstrand and Monakostrand. Sünrisstränd on the east side of Kafmenensey is also popular, particularly in the morning; as it's name, which literally means "Sunrise Beach", implies, it faces the sunrise each morning.

Culture

Architecture

Arts and music

Food and drink

Windstrand-style pansjol (pan-fried plaice).

Windstrand has more than 1,000 restaurants, and in Külinärisjhrevü magazine's 2013 list of the fifty best restaurants in Sondstead, the municipality of Windstrand alone had 17 with an additional 6 in other municipalities of the greater metropolitan area. In Windstrand and the surrounding cities and towns there are more than fifty microbreweries and brewpubs. The city is also known for it's particularly strong café culture and long-standing bakery traditions. Due to immigration from other countries and internal migration from other parts of Sondstead, the modern cuisine of Windstrand is extremely diverse, and many of the city's restaurants serve international styles, especially Berrian, Karamish, Morivaine, Sétifan, and Sinitalian.

While Windstrand is, as the country's cultural capital, the leading culinary city in Sondstead, present day Windstrander cuisine is also the country's most cosmopolitan and arguably is generally less traditional and puts less emphasis on longtime local specialties. Many foods associated with Windstrand are also common to southern Sondstead or to the country as a whole, such as the many types of breads and pastries commonly served, pansjol (filleted, battered, and pan-fried plaice), smoked eel, lamworst (seasoned lamb sausage), and labsjaus. One dish still associated strongly with Windstrand is jebredörden (fried fish heads), which was popularized in Windstrand in the mid 19th century, by pubs seeking a cheap ingredient to use in food for the city's burgeoning poor working class.

In addition to the café, pub, and fine dining scenes, there is a thriving street food and takeout scene. Many common items sold by street vendors are derived from immigrant traditions, such as pizza, Sinitalian pesce palla (fish balls), Arab falafel and shawarma, and Karamish döner kebab. Another such immigrant-derived food (but created in Windstrand in the mid 1970s) is mergeskebäp, a combination of the concept of the döner kebab sandwich with the Sétifan merguez sausage. More traditional street foods, such as sausages and kringjl (Sondsteadish pretzels) are also common.

Museums

Media

Windstrand is the main centre in Sondstead for media and the arts, including film, internet, music, print, television, and video games. Most of Sondstead's largest newspapers, magazines, and journals are published in Windstrand, including Tet Mörgen Post, Tet Windstrand Kourant, Folkspost, and Tet Finanse̊spost. The main offices and studios of SRR, the Sondsteadish public broadcaster including internet, radio, and television content, are located in Windstrand, as are the headquarters of companies such as the media conglomerate Ästerssünr, video game developer and publisher Creative Circle, content provider and mobile app developer Era Content Group, and industrial design firm PBA Paulssunr.

Sports

Telesünd Westerkjirkjh Stadium is the largest sports venue in Sondstead.
International Stadium Beckin, a Kr 2.1 billion new venue for the 2014 Mare Cup.

Windstrand has a very strong athletic culture and vibrant amateur and professional sports scenes. The city is home to many fitness clubs and amateur sports clubs and also to four professional teams playing in the top level leagues of Sondstead's most popular sports; association football, ice hockey, and shortball (the local bat-and-ball game).

Football is the most popular sport in the city and is widely played in the warmer months of the year. In the top national league, the FF-Ligä, two Windstrand-based teams, FK Beckin and FK Windstrand Stedr, currently play, making it the only Sondsteadish city with two top-level football teams. FK Windstrand Stedr in particular has long been the most attended, most dominant, and most valuable team in Sondsteadish football. The two teams are also known for their fierce local rivalry, and the two matches between them every season, colloquially called the Künlihderby (Royal Derby), are every year among the two biggest sporting events in the country.

Ice hockey is widely played by amateurs on canals, ponds, and on the Kunsburn in the winter months when they freeze over. IHK Windstrand competes in the top level of play in Sondstead, the Ishögiy FürstLigä (IFL), and is one of the stronger ice hockey teams in the country, although it's success doesn't often match the results achieved by the city's football teams, as teams from northern Sondstead usually dominate the league. While a second team IFL, the Windstrand Lynxes, are from the Greater Windstrand area and refer to the city in their name, they presently play in Nörtkjeäben, a satellite city just north of Windstrand.

Other, less followed professional clubs in Windstrand include SBK Windstrand Stedr (shortball), Windstrand Basketklub (basketball), Windstrand Cannoneers RBK (rugby union), and HBK Windstrand Stedr and Kafmenensey Torpedoes HBK (team handball). Several of the city's sports clubs also play in the top level women's leagues, such as FK Beckin and FK Windstrand Stedr in the Kwenens FF-Ligä, IHK Windstrand in the Ishögiy KwenensFürstLigä, and SBK Windstrand Stedr in the Märjä Äleksänder-Ligä.

The main sports venues in Windstrand include the Dome Sondstead by WestBankjr in Nortpalas, the country's largest indoor arena with a capacity of 20,145 for hockey games, the Telesünd Westerkjirkjh Stadium in Westerkjirkjh, the country's largest stadium with a capacity of 67,550 for football games and home to FK Windstrand Stedr and the Sondsteadish national team, and the Windstrands-Bankjr Stadium in Beckin, with a capacity of 24,900 for football games. Windstrand was among the cities hosting the 2014 Maredoratic Cup, with Westerkjirkjh being remodeled and a new stadium being built for the cup.

Economy

Windstrand's financial district viewed from the north.

Windstrand is Sondstead's largest business and financial centre, with it's metropolitan area generating 21% of the country's (and more than 60% of Windstrand state's) gross domestic product. The city proper alone produces 11% of the country's GDP, and with a nominal per capita GDP of Kr 408,174 ($69,882) it is one of the richest places in the country with a per capita GDP 156.1% of the national average.

The city's economy is heavily focused on the tertiary sector, which now accounts for nearly four-fifths of all jobs in Windstrand. Finance, healthcare, hospitality, information technology, media, pharmaceuticals, and retail are major industries, with Windstrand being home to the headquarters of Sondstead's largest financial services companies (Quadra Finans, WestBankjr, and Windstrands-Bankjr), largest hospitality company (Hestia), largest electronics and telecommunications companies (AEK Krönsjeld and Telesünd), and largest private (Ästerssünr) and public (SRR) media companies.

AEK Krönsjeld is the largest employer in the city and is the main tenant of it's tallest skyscraper. The largest cluster of information technology companies in Sondstead is in the area around the Financial District in Centre Sten and Windstrand University in Kunsbankjr, while a second major IT cluster has grown up in Sutburh and East Kafmenensey around the Windstrand University of Science. The high tech sector in Windstrand has been dubbed Silisjümstränd (literally "Silicon Beach").

While industrial activity in Windstrand has greatly declined over the past few decades, there remains an industrial presence in the city, mostly in the districts of Beckin and Doklande̊n but also in parts of Asttun and Nortpalas. This is mostly light industry, such as the cluster of food processing factories and breweries in Asttun and Nortpalas, shoe factories in Beckin, and manufacturing of computer components, but there is also heavy industry centered in Beckin and Doklande̊n. Some of the industrial operations remaining in Windstrand include an Äleksänder Kitchentop factory in Beckin, the Gäjger Automobile motorcycle factory in Doklande̊n, a Gäjger Systems factory in Doklande̊n producing turbine parts for aero and marine engines and power generation turbines, an AEK Krönsjeld computer factory in Nortpalas, and the Lindblom Marine ship repair yards in Doklande̊n.

Windstrand has among the world's highest wages in the world on average, but the tax burden and the cost of living are also both very high. The city also has fairly high levels of inequality, with the average ethnic Sondsteader being substantially better off than the average immigrant and the residents of the city's East End being better off than those living in the West End and especially Beckin and Doklande̊n. However, the city's social ills are markedly less severe than some northern cities such as Bankstead or Märkkjeäben.

Politics

The governing body of Windstrand is the Bürhsred (City Council), elections to which are held on the first Sunday in August on each odd numbered year between scheduled federal elections, most recently on August 7th, 2011. The council has 77 members, 76 of which are elected by single transferrable vote in fifteen multi-member districts corresponding to the city districts. The Präsident fan Redin (President of the Council) is elected by the City Council and is customarily the leader of the party with the most seats on the Council, and is the second highest ranking political official in the municipality.

2011 Council election results
Governing parties Opposition parties
Conservatives 35 Socialist Labour 25
Centre Liberals 6 Democrats 6
Green-Left 4
Pirate 1

The highest ranking political official is the Her-Burhe̊rme̊ste̊r (Lord Mayor), who is directly elected by the city's electorate concurrently with the council elections. In addition to being the city's chief executive, the Lord Mayor holds the seventy-seventh seat on the City Council. In the event of the Mayor being temporarily incapacitied, the President of the Council serves as acting Mayor for the duration of the incapacity. In the event the Mayor resigns or dies in office, the President of the Council serves as acting Mayor until a by-election can be called and completed. Mayoral by-elections are required to be held on a Sunday no sooner than 30 days and no later than 60 days after the election is called, and the date must be set and announced no later than 7 days after the office becomes vacant.

The city's longest serving Lord Mayor in recent times was Karl Wänderz of the Conservative Party, who was first elected in 1995 and served until his resignation on 18 January 2013 after he was appointed ambassador to Yohannes, after which fellow Conservative Council President Lineä Jöngjr became Acting Lady Mayor. Jöngjr was elected in her own right to finish the rest of Wänderz's term on 3 March 2013.

Compared to other major cities in Sondstead, Windstrand is a Conservative Party stronghold, although compared to more rural and suburban areas in Windstrand state the centre-left parties are stronger. The Conservative Party has consistently held the Lord Mayorship since the 1987 city elections and a plurality on the City Council since 1991, and have also been the principal governing party in the Council since 1991 with only one interruption between 2003 and 2007. Federally, the Conservatives hold a plurality of the People's Assembly seats representing the city with eleven out of twenty-six.

Demographics

Education

Transportation

Air

The interior of Terminal E at Nörditser Windstrand International Airport.

The greater Windstrand area is served primarily by three airports and peripherally by an additional one. The largest airport in Sondstead with three runways of up to 3700 metres, and one of the largest in Alisna, is the primary airport serving the city, Nörditser Windstrand International Airport, located 45 kilometres north of the city centre in the municipality of Nörditser. Nörditser airport handles approximately 25 million passengers annually and is the main international hub for both of Sondstead's two largest airlines, Loft Sündstedr and Rjub.com. It is the primary intercontinental airport in Sondstead, and is served by routes to more than 50 intercontinental destinations both inside and outside Maredoratica.

Windstrand is also served by Windstrand City Airport, located 14 kilometres south of the city centre in it's East Kafmenensey district. It was the primary airport for the city from it's opening in 1921 until Nörditser opened in 1960, but it is presently only served by limited domestic and international traffic, serving 950,000 passengers annually. General aviation in Greater Windstrand is also served by Bürnbrügjh Airport, located 29 kilometres northeast of the city centre in Bürnbrügjh municipality. Bürnbrügjh is the busiest general aviation airport in the country and in particular is the base for a large portion of the country's corporate jet fleet.

Since the opening of the high-speed IS1 rail line between Windstrand and Äldrve, the journey between Äldrve Stasjon and Windstrand Nortstasjon has been cut to 36 minutes, placing Äldrve Airport within reach of the Greater Windstrand market, and in addition to serving Äldrve's metropolitan area the airport now serves Windstrand peripherally with a strong presence of low-cost carriers and was opened to international flights in April 2014.

Including all three airports with scheduled commercial services, Greater Windstrand's airport system served 26.5 million passengers in 2012, just over 95% of whom used Nörditser. With high traffic growth predicted at Nörditser in the future, Windstrands Hefnbüro, the body responsible for operating major airports, seaports, and other transportation infrastructure in the state of Windstrand, has proposed that efforts be taken to shift more of the traffic to other airports.

Intercity rail

Windstrand is primarily served by two stations for intercity rail; Windstrand Nortstasjon in Nortpalas serving trains bound north and west and Windstrand Kanonje̊rsstre̊t in Centre Sten serving trains bound north and east. The former is the largest and busiest train station in the country and the main terminal for high-speed rail, with, on weekdays, thirteen daily departures to Bankstead, twelve each to Äldrve and Asteriopol, and ten to Astangjr.

Sea

The Port of Windstrand is the busiest by passenger traffic and second busiest by container traffic (after Rive) in Sondstead. In particular, the district of Werfentörp is a major cruise ferry port, with regular scheduled service to Berry and Cap-Métis and along the Sondsteadish east coast by Rive Eastern and to Sünterländ and the west coast by KNL Kjamrland Linjen. KNL's Questers ferry service to the Isle of Ella in the summer and Rive Eastern's to Jesselton year round were discontinued in late 2000 in the midst of the revolution in Questers, but the Isle of Ella service was reinstated in a limited capacity for the 2011 summer season. While it did not run in 2012 following the second Questarian coup, it was planned to return in 2013. In the wake of the controversial North 13 exercise and increased tensions, this also did not eventuate.

Windstrand is also an important cargo port, mainly as it is also the largest Sondsteadish consumer market. The main industrial port is located in the district of Doklande̊n. Unlike other major Sondsteadish ports such as Asund, Daljalukt, Eskerrös-Fikjen, and Rive, bulk commodity exports are a minuscule portion of freight passing through the Port of Windstrand, with the large majority of cargo being shipped both in and out being containerized consumer goods and precision machinery.

Urban mass transit

International relations

While not the country's capital, Windstrand is the country's global city, largest population centre, and location of a substantive part of the Sondsteadish civil service, which gives it international political importance. Many countries in Maredoratica, particularly those with strong business connections in Sondstead and other Alisnan countries, maintain consulates in Windstrand along with embassies in Asteriopol. Some smaller countries in Maredoratica with more limited diplomatic resources maintain consulates-general in Windstrand rather than embassies in Asteriopol.

Windstrand has a modest but extant presence of international organisations. International and intergovernmental organisations headquartered in Windstrand include the Association of Maredoratic Green Parties, the Commission for Northern Cooperation & Development, the Rytuic Basin Commission on Navigation and the Marine Environment, and the Maredoratic Ice Hockey Federation. While Sondstead was not a full member of the Maredoratic League until November 2014, Windstrand has hosted the headquarters of the Maredoratic Organization for Culture, Education and Science since it's establishment in 1985. Windstrand also hosts offices of other international organisations such as the Maredoratic Commission for Air Navigation.

Sister cities

Windstrand is twinned with the following cities;