Industrial sites in Sweden

K.A. Almgren Silk Weaving

The silk mill of K.A. Almgren is one the oldest preserved industrial environments in Scandinavia and the only remaining mill north of the Alps. It was founded by Knut August Almgren in 1833 when he got the license to manufacture silk products. only couple of decades later the silk mill was Scandinavias largest workplace for women. The same family produced silk during five generations. The weawing mill was closed down in ...
Founded: 1833 | Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Lummelunda Ironworks

The hydropower has been used for industrial purposes in Lummelunda since Middle Ages. Original sawmills were replaced by the ironworks in the late 1600s. In the 17-18th centuries Lummelunda was a thriving industrial area. Today the area is beautiful, many-sided recreational area with nature trails, mill park, café, mill wheel and shops.
Founded: 17th century | Location: Lummelunda, Sweden

Österbybruk

The Österbybruk was established by the King Gustav Vasa in the 16th century. Int 1643 it was acquired by Louis de Geer and in his time Österbybruk became the center of weapon manufacturing in Sweden. Later it was owned by Grill and Tamm families. The manor house of Österbybruk was built in 1763-1780 by the design of Elias Kessler and Erik Palmstedt. There is also a Calvinist church with a mirror hall bui ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Österbybruk, Sweden

Engelsberg Ironworks

Engelsberg Ironworks in Västmanland was constructed in 1681 and developed into one of the world's most modern ironworks in the period 1700-1800. The property comprises the mansion and park, works offices, workers' homes, and industrial buildings. Engelsberg is the only ironworks in Sweden that still preserves the buildings and most of the technical equipment. Engelsberg Ironworks was inscribed on the World Heritage L ...
Founded: 1681 | Location: Fagersta, Sweden

Storbrohyttan Foundry

The Storbro foundry on lake Lersjön was one of the many foundrys that manufactured pig iron. It was established in 1590 and originally called the Carlsbro foundry but since the 17th century it has been called Storbro foundry. It is one of Värmland county´s construction landmarks, it´s owned by the historical society- Filipstads Bergslags Hembygdsförening- and adminstrated by föreningen V&au ...
Founded: 1590 | Location: Filipstad, Sweden

Pershyttan

Pershyttan is a small mining town which has been restored and kept mainly as a working museum of Bergslagen"s mining and iron handling which started in the early 14th century. One of Sweden"s best preserved charcoal-fuelled blast furnaces from 1856 can be found in Pershyttan. In the area is there is also one of the biggest working water wheels.
Founded: 19th century | Location: Nora, Sweden

Galtström Ironworks

Galtström ironworks was founded in 1673 and it was the largest in Medelpad region. Today it is one of Medelpad largest tourist destination with over 30,000 visitors a year. Among arranged guided tours in summertime, there are steam engines, blast furnace and old manor. Galtström church (built 1680-1697) is also located nearby. It is Norrland"s first ironworks church.
Founded: 1673 | Location: Sundsvall, Sweden

Barläst

The mining of limestone was begun in Gotland in early Middle Ages. There was a significant lime kiln in Barläst, which was used to produce quicklime through the calcination of limestone. The kiln was used between 1690-1907. Today the area is a well-preserved sample of early industrial milieu. There are ruins of three lime kilns, the oldest one dating from the 17th century.
Founded: 1690 | Location: Lärbro, Sweden

Forsbacka Ironworks

The first trip hammer in Forsbacka was mentioned in 1591. In 1640 Dutchman Henry Marhein built an ironworks. The 18th century was the golden age of Forsbacka. The first blast furnace was built in 1744. Several workshop buildings were built in next decades, as well as a luxurious Forsbacka Manor in 1777. It contained a stable, English-style park and Orangery. Today Forsbacka is an old ironworks environment that has been r ...
Founded: 1640 | Location: Forsbacka, Sweden

Växbo Kvarn

Växbo was the center of cotton manufacturing in Sweden in 1700s and 1800s. The factory, still used in summer season, is well-preserved. You can see a beautifully preserved watermill complete with dam and millpond. There are guided tours of the mill and the surrounding area. The miller’s house has been converted into a restaurant, where you can eat in idyllic surroundings. There is a mill museum where you can le ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Bollnäs, Sweden

Trångfors Forge

It was quite common in the 17th century for citizens in the Mälaren valley to invest in the iron industry. The first bar-iron forge at Trångfors was established in 1628 by Adolf Willemson, a merchant from Västerås. It started off small, with just three workers. In the latter half of the 18th century, the Strömsholm canal cut straight across the Trångfors estate and the old manor house ha ...
Founded: 1628 | Location: Hallstahammar, Sweden

Kengis Forge

In 1644, two Swedish noblemen, later called Renstierna ('Reindeer star'), set up a forge in the Swedish village Pajala (Finnish for 'forge village') north of the Arctic Circle. As Sweden at that time was very eager to mint all the copper found in the country, they also got a concession for minting. Renstiernas minted both plate money and minor local coins in values of 5, 10, 15 and 20 öre. Kengis ...
Founded: 1644 | Location: Pajala, Sweden

Motjärnshyttan

Motjärnshyttan is one of the largest and best preserved forges in Värmland. It was founded by Finnish emigrants in 1643, but it was moved to the current place in 1700. The manufacturing continued until 1916. The current forge dates from 1853.
Founded: 1643 | Location: Motjärnshyttan, Sweden

Siggebohyttan

Siggebohyttan is an unusual large house of bergsman family, who where exempted from taxes but had to mine and produce iron to the crown. This system was in use from the Middle Ages to the late 1800s. Siggebohyttan, built in 1790, is today a museum.
Founded: 1790 | Location: Nora, Sweden

Strömsberg Ironworks

Strömsberg Ironworks was established in 1643-1645 by Flamish Welam Vervier and it was in use 275 years. The industrial village is very well-preserved. The wooden manor house was built in 1757-1758 by Charles De Geer. The bell tower dates from 1736 and blast furnace from 1723. The other buildings originate mainly from the 19th century.
Founded: 1643 | Location: Tierp, Sweden

Bennebol Ironworks

The history of Bennebols Ironworks started in 1683, when Gustaf Otto Stenbock built there a blast furnace.A small ironworks village grew up to one of Uppland's many Walloon ironworks villages. Iron production ceased in 1884, but the village environment lives on, with a bailiff's residence that includes the ironworks office in one of the wings, a schoolhouse, a row of stables, remains of a charcoal house, a blast furnace, ...
Founded: 1683 | Location: Knutby, Sweden

Jädersbruk

There has been an ironworks in Jädersbruk since Middle Ages. It was originally owned by Julita Abbey. After Reformation Jädersbruk was confiscated to the Crown. King Gustav Vasa set up there the first arms manufactory “Arboga faktori, Jäders Bruk” to decrease the dependence of foreign weapons. Weapons fere forged until the end of 17th century when the ironworks gradually started manufacturing o ...
Founded: 1551 | Location: Arboga, Sweden

Norberg Mining Area

One of the richest iron ore deposits at Norberg is Mossgruvan, where the mining museum is situated today. The visitor is given an idea of how it was to work and live by a mine more than a hundred years ago. The correct name is Risbergs konstschakt and the building was raised in 1876 over a 114 metre deep mine shaft. The shaft was originally sunk in the18th century. A very important function of the shaft was to drain the ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Norberg, Sweden

Söderfors Ironworks

Söderfors Ironworks was established in 1676 by Claes Anckarström (Depken). Claes Grill acquired it in 1748 and strongly developed both the foundry and village. The manor and church were built in 1792 by the Gustavian design of Erik Palmstedt. There is also fine English park built in 1748-1800 with a Doric style temple (1795).
Founded: 1676 | Location: Söderfors, Sweden

Vattholma Ironworks

The Vattholma ironworks is one of the oldest in Sweden. Smelters are believed to have been active here back as far as the 15th century. Wattholma operated under the Crown until the end of the 16th century. Walloon forging was introduced during the 1600s and was used until the 1870s, when it was replaced by the Lancashire method. Wattholma also featured a blast furnace that was moved in 1758. Bar iron production ceased in ...
Founded: 1545 | Location: Vattholma, Sweden

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.