The role of springs in the history of Sweden / Källornas roll under historiens gång i Sverige
Springs have always been used for water supply. The first settlements from the Stone Age were often located close to springs as well as many farms and crofts later on in the forests and highlands. Several of the growing towns and villages from the Middle Ages were supplied by water from springs. Spring cults were related to the assumedly mysterious strength of the water from special springs during certain days of the year, when the water had a healing effect on the body. Many of these springs were called offering springs during heathen times and holy springs during Christian times. In modern times mineral springs were recognized to have health effects and many spas were established at such springs. Some of the spas also started to tap the spring water and to sell bottled water, which is still very popular. Today springs are used for environmental control due to the fact that the water in a spring gives an integrated, condensed representation of the environment in its catchment and thereby the changes of the water chemistry due to, e.g. acidification or pollution. Some springs have also given inspiration to artists, authors and composers to create paintings, novels and songs.