Ironworks in Finland

Fiskars

Fiskars is the best known of a number of ironworks villages that were established in the early 17th century to the Pohja area. A crushing mill was established by the lower rapids in 1649, with a blastfurnace on the opposite bank. The founder of Fiskars ironworks was the Dutch businessman Peter Thorwöste, who was allowed by Queen Christina of Sweden to manufacture cast iron and forged products, with the exception of c ...
Founded: 1649-1900 | Location: Raasepori, Finland

Billnäs

Billnäs ironworks was founded in 1641 by Carl Billsten. It faced many difficulties during 17th and 18th century. Local peasants destroyed the ironworks already in 1659 because of too heavy taxation. During the Great Wrath Russians occupied and destroyed it again in the 18th century.Billnäs Ironworks moved to Hisinger family's possession in 1723. Bar hammer workshops with forges and waterwheels, and coal rooms were built ...
Founded: 1641 | Location: Raasepori, Finland

Fagervik

Fagervik ironworks, one of the oldest in Finland, was founded in 1646. The ironworks consisted of two iron forges and one blast furnace. The remarkable rococo-style manor was built in 1773 by Johan Hisinger. It’s located near the "King’s Way", a road from Turku to Vyborg. Both Gustav III (the king of Sweden) and Alexander I (the tzar of Russia) have stood overnight in Fagervik. The large baroque-style park with the Ch ...
Founded: 1646 | Location: Inkoo, Finland

Antskog

Antskog ironworks, one of the oldest industrial sites in Finland, was established in 1640. The heyday of Antskog was in the 17th century, when Pohja town became a center of iron manufacturing in Finland. Industrial buildings were mainly destroyed in the Greater Wrath (1714-1721) and it caused the financial downturn. The ironworks went bankrupt couple of times. The next upswing was in the 1860s, when Antskog started to pro ...
Founded: 1640-1900 | Location: Raasepori, Finland

Strömfors Ironworks

Strömfors Ironworks is one of the oldest in Finland. It was founded in 1695 by Johan Creuz. The ironworks was renamed to Strömfors in 1744, when A. Nohrström and J. Forsell acquired the site and business. They also expanded Strömfors by building a new forge and sawmill.In 1790, the iron works got a new manager, the 31-year-old Virginia af Forselles, who managed Strömfors Iron Works for almost 60 years. A large part o ...
Founded: 1695 | Location: Loviisa, Finland

Teijo Ironworks

Teijo ironworks was established in 1686 to the lands of old Teijo manor by Lorentz Creutz. The industrial work ended in 1908, but today there still exists old buildings, restaurant and fascinating manor building and park. The manor is privately owned, but you can walk the road adjacent to it. Teijo church on the hill near the manor is the smallest stone church in Finland. It was built in 1830.
Founded: 1686 | Location: Salo, Finland

Juankoski Iron Foundry

In 1746 Brynolf Brunou was granted to establish an ironworks to the Juankoski rapids. Juankoski was in the periphery of Sweden borderlands with no roads or cities. Water routes were the only way to transport goods. Juankoski became the only ironworks in Finland which used only the bog iron to manufacture different kind of tools.The heyday of Juankoski was between 1851 and 1900 when it was owned by Anastasia Ponomareva, a ...
Founded: 1746 | Location: Juankoski, Finland

Kimo Ironworks

The ironworks in Kimo was founded by Petter Heijke in 1703. Petter Heijke chose the place because there was an enough deep harbour in Oravainen, waterpower and wood for making charcoal. The ore was brought from Utö in the southern Baltic sea and from Herräng mines in Roslagen. In Kimo it was forged into iron-pigs. The iron-pigs were then tranported further up the river to the forges in Kimo where it was refined ...
Founded: 1703 | Location: Oravainen, Finland

Mathildedal Ironworks

Mathildedal is one of the three Teijo area ironworks villages. It offers all the elements of an idyllic environment: Wooden houses painted with traditional red paint, buildings of the ironwork, history, culture, nature and of course the living village itself. The origins of Mathildedal ironworks go back to 1686. Mr Lorenz Creutz from Teijo was granted a right to build a forgery in Hummeldal. In 1825 Mr Robert Bremer dis ...
Founded: 1852 | Location: Salo, Finland

Kellokoski Ironworks

Kellokoski ironworks was founded in 1795 and it manufactured all kind of agriculture tools until 1963. The wooden church was built in 1800. The nearby Kellokoski manor is functioned as a mental hospital since 1915.Today Kellokoski is a well-preserved milieu representing habitation and industry of the 19th century. The hospital museum, handicraft shops, restaurant and arboretum are located to the old ironworks buildings.
Founded: 1795 | Location: Tuusula, Finland

Kauttua Ironworks

The iron manufacturing in Kauttua started in 1689, when nobleman Lorentz Creutz was granted to establish an ironworks to Kauttua rapids. The ironworks business created an historically valuable industrial village milieu, which is called today as “Kauttua Ruukinpuisto”. In 1907 the ironworks was acquired by Ahlström Oy and it was changed to manufacture paper.Most of village buildings are from the 19th centu ...
Founded: 1689 - 20th century | Location: Eura, Finland

Leineperi Ironworks

The history of Leineperi (Fredriksfors in Swedish) village dates back to the 1630s. The ironworks was founded in 1771 by Berndt Johan Hastfehr. Until the end of 19th century ironworks manufactured all kinds of iron tools like nails, bolts and spades. The ironworks expanded little by little and in the the 19th century Leineperi was one of the largest iron manufacturers in Finland. The ironworks area consisted several manuf ...
Founded: 1771-1902 | Location: Ulvila, Finland

Jyrkkäkoski Ironworks

In 1831 Mr. Franzen, the owner of the Salahmi Ironworks was given permission to establish a blast furnace and a bar-iron forge at Jyrkkäkoski. The early years were difficult, because Jyrkkäkoski was not at any close distance of main travel routes and sufficient labour was not available. In 1856, the ironworks was obtained by Paul Wahl & Co. as part of a larger consortium. A new Scottish-type blast furnace of ...
Founded: 1831-1874 | Location: Sonkajärvi, Finland

Möhkö Ironworks Museum

Möhkö Ironworks was built in the middle of wilderness in the eastern part of Ilomantsi, by Möhkönkoski rapids of Koitajoki river. Ilomantsi born Carl G. Nygren was granted to build the ironworks in 1838. After him the factory was built by Adolf von Rauch from St. Petersburg between 1847 and 1849. Industrialist Nils Ludvig Arppe modernised the ironworks.The conditions for the foundation of ironworks wer ...
Founded: 1838-1908 | Location: Ilomantsi, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Bergenhus Fortress

Bergenhus fortress is one of the oldest and best preserved castles in Norway. It contains buildings dating as far back as the 1240s, as well as later constructions built as recently as World War II. The extent of the enclosed area of today dates from the early 19th century. In medieval times, the area of the present-day Bergenhus Fortress was known as Holmen (The islet), and contained the royal residence in Bergen, as well as a cathedral and several churches, the bishop's residence, and a Dominican monastery. Excavations have revealed foundations of buildings believed to date back to before 1100, which might have been erected by King Olav Kyrre. In the 13th century, until 1299, Bergen was the capital of Norway and Holmen was thus the main seat of Norway's rulers. It was first enclosed by stone walls in the 1240s.

Of the medieval buildings, a medieval hall and a defensive tower remain. The royal hall, today known as Haakon's Hall, built around 1260, is the largest medieval secular building in Norway. The defensive tower, known in the Middle Ages as the keep by the sea, was built around 1270 by King Magnus VI Lagabøte, and contained a royal apartment on the top floor. In the 1560s it was incorporated by the commander of the castle, Erik Rosenkrantz, into a larger structure, which is today known as the Rosenkrantz Tower.

In the Middle Ages, several churches, including the Christ Church, Bergen's cathedral, were situated on the premises. These however were torn down in the period 1526 to 1531, as the area of Holmen was converted into a purely military fortification under Danish rule. From around this time, the name Bergenhus came into use. Building work on the Christ Church probably started around 1100. It contained the shrine of saint Sunniva, the patron saint of Bergen and western Norway. In the 12th and 13th centuries it was the site of several royal coronations and weddings. It was also the burial site of at least six kings, as well as other members of the royal family. The site of its altar is today marked by a memorial stone.

In the 19th century, the fortress lost its function as a defensive fortification, but it was retained by the military as an administrative base. After restoration in the 1890s, and again after destruction sustained during World War II, Bergenhus is today again used as a feast hall for public events. During World War II, the German navy used several of its buildings for their headquarters, and they also constructed a large concrete bunker within the fortress walls. The buildings, including the Haakon's Hall, were severely damaged when a Dutch ship in the service of the German navy, carrying approximately 120 tons of dynamite, exploded on 20 April 1944 in the harbour just outside the fortress walls, but the buildings were later restored.

Bergenhus is currently under the command of the Royal Norwegian Navy, which has about 150 military personnel stationed there. The fortifications Sverresborg fortress and Fredriksberg fortress also lie in the centre of Bergen. Haakon's Hall and the Rosenkrantz Tower are open for visits by the public. Koengen, the central part of Bergenhus Fortress is also known as a concert venue.