Ironworks in 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

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

Dylta Bruk

The first sulfur factory in Dylta was mentioned in 1558. It was first owned by the Crown. In 1649 Queen Christina gave mill to Henrik Barckhusen. The Privy Council baron Samuel Åkerhielm became in 1739 the owner of Dylta Mill, which belonged to the family Åkerhielm in 265 years. The main building, which is built in wood, dates back to the 1740s. In the 1850s, the well-known architect J.F. Åbom designed ...
Founded: 1558 | Location: Örebro, 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

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

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

Norn Ironworks

Norn was an industrial community founded in 1628 by Lars Larsson. It constructed a smelting-house for the excavation of iron ore. The industry had continued for almost three hundred years when it finally shut down in 1916, though the power station that supplied electricity to the village is still in use. There are several mines in the surrounding forest, although none of them is currently operating. The village consists o ...
Founded: 1628 | Location: Vikmanshyttan, 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

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

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

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

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

Bäckefors Ironworks

Bäckefors Ironworks Museum is a traditional ironworks where you can learn about time honoured industrial methods. The iron manufacturing started in 1767 and in the early 19th century Bäckefors was one of the largest ironworks in Sweden. It was closed down in 1877. You will find a charcoal house, a mill, a sawmill, and a blacksmith´s shop displaying old equipment here. There is also a folk museum on the ...
Founded: 1767 | Location: Bäckefors, 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

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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Königstein Fortress

Königstein Fortress is located on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe. The 9.5 hectare rock plateau rises 240 metres above the Elbe and has over 50 buildings, some over 400 years old, that bear witness to the military and civilian life in the fortress. The rampart run of the fortress is 1,800 metres long with walls up to 42 metres high and steep sandstone faces. In the centre of the site is a 152.5 metre deep well, which is the deepest in Saxony and second deepest well in Europe.

The fortress, which for centuries was used as a state prison, is still intact and is now one of Saxony's foremost tourist attractions, with 700,000 visitors per year.

By far the oldest written record of a castle on the Königstein is found in a deed by King Wenceslas I of Bohemia dating to the year 1233. It is probable that there had been a stone castle on the Königstein as early as the 12th century. The oldest surviving structure today is the castle chapel built at the turn of the 13th century. In the years 1563 to 1569 the 152.5 metre deep well was bored into the rock within the castle - until that point the garrison of the Königstein had to obtain water from cisterns and by collecting rainwater.

Between 1589 and 1591/97 Prince-Elector Christian I of Saxony and his successor had the castle developed into the strongest fortification in Saxony. The hill was now surrounded with high walls. Buildings were erected, including the Gatehouse (Torhaus), the Streichwehr, the Old Barracks (Alte Kaserne), the Christiansburg (Friedrichsburg) and the Old Armoury (Altes Zeughaus). The second construction period followed from 1619 to 1681, during which the John George Bastion was built. The third construction period is seen as the time from 1694 to 1756, which included the expansion of the Old Barracks. From 1722 to 1725, at the behest of August the Strong, coopers under Böttger built the enormous Königstein Wine Barrel, the greatest wine barrel in the world, in the cellar of the Magdalenenburg which had a capacity of 249,838 litres. It cost 8,230 thalers, 18 groschen and 9 pfennigs. The butt, which was once completely filled with country wine from the Meißen vineyards, had to be removed again in 1818 due to its poor condition. Because of Böttger, Königstein Fortress is also the site where European porcelain started.

Even after the expansion during those periods of time there continued to be modifications and additions on the extensive plateau. The Treasury (Schatzhaus) was built from 1854 to 1855. After the fortress had been incorporated in 1871 into the fortification system of the new German Empire, battery ramparts were constructed from 1870 to 1895 with eight firing points, that were to have provided all-round defence for the fortress in case of an attack that, in the event, never came. This was at this time that the last major building work was done on the fortress.

Because Königstein Fortress was regarded as unconquerable, the Saxon monarchs retreated to it from Wittenberg and later Dresden during times of crisis and also deposited the state treasure and many works of art from the famous Zwinger here; it was also used as a country retreat due to its lovely surroundings.

The fortress played an important role in the History of Saxony, albeit less as a result of military action. The Saxon Dukes and Prince-Electors used the fortress primarily as a secure refuge during times of war, as a hunting lodge and maison de plaisance, but also as a dreaded state prison. Its actual military significance was rather marginal.

Since 1955 the fortress has been an open-air, military history museum of high touristic value.