Ironworks in 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.