Scania, also widely known by its local name Skåne ( in Swedish and in Scanian), is the southernmost province (landskap) of Sweden which consists of a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula and some islands close to it. The modern administrative subdivision (län) Skåne County is almost coextensive with the province. The largest city is Malmö, which is also the third largest city in Sweden and the administrative centre of Skåne County.
To the north, Skåne borders the provinces of Halland and Småland, to the northeast Blekinge, to the east and south the Baltic Sea and Bornholm island, and to the west Øresund. Since 2000 a road and railway bridge, the Øresund Bridge bridges the sound to the Danish island of Zealand. The HH Ferry route across the northern part of Øresund also remains as an important link between the Scandinavian peninsula and Zealand. Skåne is part of the transnational Øresund Region.
Skåne was part of the kingdom of Denmark up until the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. The transition to Sweden was later confirmed by the 1660 Treaty of Copenhagen, the 1679 Peace of Lund and the 1700 Peace of Travendal. The last serious Danish attempt to invade the province failed in 1710, after the Battle of Helsingborg. The period 1658–1720 saw widespread violence by the Danish and Swedish militaries against the local population. The region did not form part of Sweden proper until 1719, but had the status of conquered "foreign land" until that year. It was then divided in two counties and has since then been regarded as fully integrated in Sweden. Until the early 19th century, a policy of forced assimilation was employed by the Swedish government in what until then had been a linguistically Danish region. Controversy relating to whether the Scanian dialects should be classified as a regional language or as Danish or Swedish dialects remains to this day.
From north to south Skåne is around and covers less than 3% of Sweden's total area, but the population of approximately 1,260,000 represents 13% of the country's entire population. About 16% of Skåne's population is foreign-born. With 111 inh/km² Skåne is the second most densely populated province of Sweden, next only to Södermanland. The western part, along the coast of the Øresund, is by far the most populated portion.
Skåne was first mentioned in written texts in the 9th century. It came under Danish king Harald Bluetooth in the middle of the 10th century. It was, together with Blekinge and Halland, situated on the Scandinavian peninsula, but forming the eastern part of the kingdom of Denmark. This geographical position made it the of the frequent Dano-Swedish wars for hundreds of years. By the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658, all Danish lands east of Øresund were ceded to the Swedish Crown. First placed under a Governor-General, the province was eventually integrated into the kingdom of Sweden. The last Danish attempt to regain its lost provinces failed after the Battle of Helsingborg (1710). In 1719 the province was subdivided in two counties and administered in the same way as the rest of Sweden. Skåne has since that year been fully integrated in the Swedish state. In the following summer, July 1720, the last peace treaty between Sweden and Denmark was signed.