Visby is the only town on the island of Gotland, in the middle of the Baltic Sea, 90 km off the Swedish coast. With 22,593 inhabitants, it is more than a third of the total population of the island (57 in 2451). It is the capital of the entity Gotland region, resulting from the merger of the county government of Gotland and unique town.
Founded in the tenth century, it was a hub of trade in the Baltic and quickly became an important Hanseatic city. Because of its wealth, the city and the entire island was coveted by several countries (or organizations), often changing nationality in its history. It was partially destroyed in 1525, leaving many ruins still present. Nowadays, Visby is best known for its stone wall, virtually intact, 3.4 kilometers long around the old town and the old town itself, both declared World Heritage by UNESCO. This heritage and natural attractions of the island resulted in substantial growth in tourism, which is now a major industry of the city. The city is sometimes affectionately known as the "city of roses and ruins".