Top Historic Sights in Falun, Sweden

Explore the historic highlights of Falun

Great Copper Mountain

Great Copper Mountain (Stora Kopparberg) was a mine that operated for a millennium from the 10th century to 1992. It produced as much as two thirds of Europe's copper needs and helped fund many of Sweden's wars in the 17th century. Technological developments at the mine had a profound influence on mining globally for two centuries. Since 2001 it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as a museum. Archae ...
Founded: ca. 1000 AD | Location: Falun, Sweden

Kristine Church

The Kristine Church was built in 1642 by Hans Förster. It is built of stone and decorated inside in Baroque and Renaissance styles. Today the church is renowned as one of the finest Swedish churches of the period. The pulpit (1654) and altarpiece (1669) were made by Dutch Ewerdt Friis.
Founded: 1642 | Location: Falun, Sweden

Vika Church

Vika Church was built partially in the 13th century and mainly reconstructed to the late Gothic appearance in the late 1400s. The church includes frescos from the 16th century with motifs taken from the Gospels. It also contains carved statues in wood from the 13th and 15th centuries. The 16th century baptismal font is a copy of the one in Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral).
Founded: 13th century | Location: Falun, Sweden

Stora Kopparberg Church

Stora Kopparberg Church was built in the late 1400s and it is the oldest building in Falun. The star-shaped arches are an interesting architectural detail. The church has also a high tower with a dramatic spire. The triumph crucifix, Madonna sculpture and pietá date from the 15th century. The pulpit was made in 1618.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Falun, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Beersel Castle

The moated castle at Beersel is one of the few exceptionally well-preserved examples of medieval fortifications in Belgium. It remains pretty much as it must have appeared in the 15th century. Remarkably, it was never converted into a fortified mansion. A visitor is able to experience at first-hand how it must have felt to live in a heavily fortified castle in the Middle Ages.

The castle was built in around 1420 as a means of defence on the outer reaches of Brussels. The tall, dense walls and towers were intended to hold any besiegers at bay. The moat and the marshy ground along its eastern, southern and western edges made any attack a formidable proposition. For that reason, any attackers would have chosen its weaker northern defences where the castle adjoins higher lying ground. But the castle was only taken and destroyed on one occasion in 1489, by the inhabitants of Brussels who were in rebellion against Maximilian of Austria.

After being stormed and plundered by the rebels it was partially rebuilt. The pointed roofs and stepped gables are features which have survived this period. The reconstruction explains why two periods can be identified in the fabric of the edifice, particularly on the outside.

The red Brabant sandstone surrounds of the embrasures, now more or less all bricked up, are characteristic of the 15th century. The other embrasures, edged with white sandstone, date from the end of the 15th century. They were intended for setting up the artillery fire. The merlons too are in white sandstone. The year 1617 can be clearly seen in the foundation support on the first tower. This refers to restorations carried out at the time by the Arenberg family.

Nowadays, the castle is dominated by three massive towers. The means of defence follow the classic pattern: a wide, deep moat surrounding the castle, a drawbridge, merlons on the towers, embrasures in the walls and in the towers, at more or less regular intervals, and machiolations. Circular, projecting towers ensured that attacks from the side could be thwarted. If the enemy were to penetrate the outer wall, each tower could be defended from embrasures facing onto the inner courtyard.

The second and third towers are flanked by watchtowers from which shots could be fired directly below. Between the second and third tower are two openings in the walkway on the wall. It is not clear what these were used for. Were these holes used for the disposing of rubbish, or escape routes. The windows on the exterior are narrow and low. All light entering comes from the interior. The few larger windows on the exterior date from a later period. It is most probable that the third tower - the highest - was used as a watchtower.