Fort Eketorp

Fort Eketorp is a historic site on Öland that was ‘born’ in the iron age and went through different stages in its history. Not only the three stages in the far past (Eketorp I from 300-400 A.C., Eketorp II from 400-650 A.C. and Eketorp III from 1170-1240 A.C.) are interesting but also the very lastest. After excavations between 1964 and 1973 the fort has been completely rebuilt on the ancient foundations and a living museum was established which gives the perfect insight into the life in such an ancient fort. I really enjoyed to visit the place.

For further information about Eketorp you can have a look at the webpage of VisitÖland and of the museum itself. I have linked these pages and you can access them by clicking on the emblems at the end of this post.

Here some impressions of the Fort Eketorp…

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Historic Houses in the Museum Hägnan

Following signs brought me to the small but cosy open-air museum Hägnan at the outskirts of Gammelstaden close to Luleå. It was in autumn on my way home from a cottage weekend with my Finnish friends. That I time I took the long way through Sweden around the Baltic Sea.

Hägnan combines buildings from the 17th to 19th century from the Northbottnia coastal area. During summer season there is a cafe inside the museum inviting for a rest.

The time of my visit was just after the end of season, so many of the buildings were closed. Nevertheless the area is open year round inviting you to stroll around. It is easy to combine it with a visit to Gammelstaden Church Town, an UNESCO World Heritage.

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-> Hägnans official page

-> Hägnans Opening times

Ruins of Borgholms Slott

Borgholms Slott are the remains of the castle that King Karl X Gustaf built in the mid of the 17th century during the periode of the baroque. A huge fire destroyed the castle and it was abandoned since. In my opinion it is nowadays a gem of historic places in Sweden and easily combinable with a visit to Sollidens Slott, the summer residence of the Swedish Royals. Both places are more or less neighboring.

So now lets have a look at this massive ruins. From the parking a path leads you to the entrance.

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Once in you can see that a lot of the walls have remained. Only the floors have been gone. I assume they were made of wood and therefore became the food for the fire that took place here.

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The high walls give you a good feeling of how spacious the castle must have been.

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The outside was well protected.

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Some representative door frame.

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Carls X Gustaf, nowadays he wouldn’t be fashionable like that, but I am sure he was in his time.

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Some further photos of the ruins.

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There is an exhibition inside a part of the castle ruins.

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This is the way the castle once looked like.

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Something very impressive are the wall carvings people left here over the last centuries. Of course they are protected nowadays.

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A coat of arms.

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“The ruins from above”

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From the ruins you have a good view towards Borgholm. In the very far distance and quite small you can see the island ‘Blå Jungfru’ with its National Park.

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I hope you liked this short walk through the Borgholm Slott ruins, but I recommend to come here yourself not just for the ruins, but for the entire island Öland. It is a nice piece of earth! Click the logos to open the respective pages in a seperate window…

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Church Village of Gammelstad, Luleå

Unique for the north of Scandinavia are church villages. In the past people came from near and far to worship in churches. Due to the harsh environment and the wide spread communities people could not return the same day. Tiny houses were built around the church to spend the night. These formed an entire village. Gammelstad close to Luleå is one of them with 424 wooden houses. Nowadays Gammelstad is listed as a world heritage for its well preserved ensemble of wooden houses. I only had a short stop. In summertime it is possible to look inside some as a museum, but most are still in private use. Still walking around is very interesting.

As usual you can click on the emblems at the end of the post to follow to the respective external pages.

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Falun Coppar Mine

If you are into mining or generally industry you might be interested in the Coppar Mine of Falun. The mine and the buildings of the mining town are listed as world heritage by the UNESCO. I arrived here to have a guided tour through the mine. Unlike in Sala for the silver mine everything here went smooth and I could enjoy an interesting tour through the colorful underground of Faluns Coppar Mine. If you think that the reddish ore could be used as color, you are right. Falu Red is a type of red that originates from the Swedish coppar mines of which Falun is the most important. Some friends once told me that the poor people in the past, who could only afford wooden houses, painted the houses in red to make them look like brickstone houses. But maybe it is just cause the color keeps the wood more resistant against rotting… who knows. Nowadays for us Germans the red houses are a synonym for Scandinavia and Sweden in particular, despite of that obviously not all wooden houses are red… 🙂

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After receiving some funny protection you will start the tour by looking into the deep pit.

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Then you will enter the undergound.

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Much of the mine is very old. The climate and the minerals conserve the wooden protection so well, that some parts you pass are centuries old. It is very impressive.

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You see much of the historic mine with remains from the past.

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Looking at the wall explains the protection you got. The minerals are hard to get off the clothes … and shoes 🙂

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Some impressive cavities… the hole in the back is where you will enter.

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The company making the Falu Red is not far…

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Sala Silvergruva – The Silver Mine of Sala

On my trips I normally are lucky to get to see everything I plan, but sometimes it happens that things stay uncompleted. Welcome to Sala Silvergruva, this is one of the places. My schedule made me arrive just too late for the guided tour, so I only had a look at the exhibition and the surroundings instead of getting deep down. But I knew that I will see the Falun Coppermine the next days, I put this on a list for another time where it remained now for 9 years. The day will come and I get to see it inside.

Until then I share with you what I could see.

Around the entrance you can see several towers, which are housing the ‘elevators’ into the shafts. Below an overview of the mine system here in Sala.

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Below the photo of a part which was an open mine.

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Elevator housing for Dr. Christinas Shaft.

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Here you see the entrance to an exhibition and the ticket sales.

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The exhibition explains a little about the mining history here in Sala, the mining technics and the silver that is taken from the ground.

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In history before explosives were known, people made fire on the rock to heat it up. Pouring cold water over it then cracked the rock due to thermal stress. This technic consumed a lot of wood and was not really benificial for the forests closeby.

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Mining in history…

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This is another photo of the open pit.

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The Knektshaft (~ Minion Shaft)

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Stevns Klint – A Church on the Chalk Cliff

Crossing Denmark towards Sweden I stopped at Stevns Klint, a place that I found suitable for a break. Stevns Klint is a high chalk cliff at the east coast of Denmarks largest island Sjaelland, which also houses it captial Kopenhagen. On the cliff you will find a small church which basically stands on the edge. The erosion of the cliff made it become closer and closer to the edge. Nowadays it is protected from breaking down, still standing dangerously close from dropping.

During my visit, now already 9 years ago, it was possible to get down to the water giving beautiful views on the chalk cliff. There are some hiking paths along the coast on top of the cliff if you like to walk a little.

Join me for the church…

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Doors can be really beautiful art…

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Colors….

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This is the view from the backdoor of the church, which nowadays is like a balcony.

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Much of the old paintings has remained…

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This is the backdoor. In the past this was a regular entrance, but erosion of the cliff took the ground away. Nowadays it is a balcony… See below the view from the water…

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The church from the water…

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Hope you like it. Around the church there are some memorials partly commemorating victims of the war. I think it is a dignifying place for that.