Old Mining Town Røros

Just recently I was asked which of the towns that I travelled to is my favorite. Usually I find in every place something special that remains in my thoughts as you can see in my postings, but now recapturing the photos from my Norway Roadtrip I have to say that Røros in central Norway is ranking between the very top most.

The town developed after copper was found here in the wilderness. A saying says that a guy was hunting a deer. He shot it and when approaching it the dying animal scratched on the ground. Something shiny came up, coppar ore. This was the birth of mining in the area of Røros. Nowadays there is no active mining here, but the industrial and the beautiful historic buildings have remained which are placed on the list of UNESCOs world heritages. I have stayed here two nights and been busy sightseeing the full stay, so this blog entry will give you only a short overview. For the various places to visit I will add seperate ones.

In case you also plan to stay overnight, I recommend to take a room somewhere in walking distance to the cosy historic town center. It is pretty large and invites for an evening stroll and some rest with a drink. Coincidence here during my stay was that in a bar they showed the around the clock live coverage of a full Hurtigruten trip.

So here some impressions of the old town and the mining fields outside town…

At the center of the historic living quarters you find the industrial area, where the ore was processed. Large hills of slag were deposite in the vicinity and nowadays form visual landmarks.


The Old Town consists of beautiful colored wooden buildings. It is not an Open-Air museum. People live here, there are shops, reaturants and cafes.


Outside of town in different places there are the remains of the mines. It is here where you can do a guided tour through the historic underground. I highly recommend it!


As you can see, the real old mine is shown to you, not a tourist setup.


It is not really visible how large these cavities are, anyhow you can clearly see that it is a coppar mine with its distinct color.



At a different place outside Røros, the North Mines, that you can reach in just a few minutes, you will find many remains (really ruins) from the mining. Here I recommend to stay on the paths as you can see that it is not really secured.


Beside the ruins, the landscape here is magnificent, even though you can see the scarves from the mining periode still remaining.


But back to the Old Town. With the assembly of so many different buildings there are so many beautiful spots to take pictures. It actually reminds me of these mining towns in the US.


This is the main road of the old town.


A photo from one of the slag hills. I love the roofs!





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.









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… 🙂


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


Then you will enter the undergound.


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.


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


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



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




The company making the Falu Red is not far…


Church of Old Rauma

Let me take you into the church of Old Rauma, the Church of the Holy Cross. It has some really nice decorations that are absolutely worth to be seen. About the history of the church I pass you to wikipedia (link at the bottom of the entry), so you can check the short article if you are interested.

This is the view when entering the church.


Here the pulpit, all in beautiful wooden art.


That beautiful lady is by far the most religious citizen in Rauma. She is always there when I am in town visiting the church… impressive 😉


In my opinion the most impressive are the paintings on the ceiling. I can stand there for a long time looking at this beautiful art.


The candelabra bring a nice and special light into the church.


And the window is beautiful with the sun shining onto it.


-> Raumas Church of the Holy Cross on Wikipedia


Old Rauma – A World Heritage Site

A real beauty of an old wooden towncenter is the Old Rauma (Vanha Rauma). It found its place on the list of World Heritage Sites of the UNESCO. You can spend some hours to walk around through the small and larger cobble stoned streets. It is not a museum, there are stores, cafes and restaurants here. So be prepared that it can be quite busy around the main square. Actually during my last visit I found it really busy with cars driving through the streets, but if you leave the main road, you will find really quiet and cosy corners.

In some of the houses you will find museums that tell you about the history of families living there. Also you will see that making bobbin lace is an old tradition from Rauma. But let me show you the cosy beauty of this place in this blog entry. There are several more old wooden towns along the west coast of Finland, over time I will introduce you to them.










-> Old Rauma on UNESCO Webpage

-> Old Rauma on Visit Rauma


Sammallahdenmäki – World Heritage

Compared to other countries Finland is not too blessed with a big amount of sites listed as World Heritage, but those which you can find here are really special. One of them is the bronze age burial site of Sammallahdenmäki. It is located quite close to Rauma, which in fact is also a listed as world heritage for its beautiful wooden houses. If you come here to Sammallahdenmäki you can follow a path that leads you through this pretty big amount of grave hills. During my visit I was the only one and it feels very remote as the nature looks pretty original. This gives a very special atmosphere to the site. I am sure that once you are walking around there like me, also you will start to get thoughts about what kind of people have made these structures. What was their thinking about their time and furture…




Many of these structures are shaped rectangular with edges.



Signs point along the trail not to get lost or to miss something.


Here the nordic moss is growing in huge areas. I really like it, but i also know that it is very sensitive and it grows really slow if destroyed. So take care of it.



Other liches are really colorful. Sometimes I almost only had eyes for these beautiful pattern…


… but then a majestic burial hill brought me back to the real meaning of the site.




Another pattern photo to conclude the blog 🙂


Sammallahdenmäki in the net:

-> Finnish National Board of Antiquities

-> UNESCO World Heritage sites


Struve Geodetic Arc at Oravivuori

I think not many people have heard of the Struve Geodectic Arc before, even though it is one of the few Finnish World Heritage sites. Also myself, when arriving to Finland during my expat time, I had no idea that it exists and of course not that it would become a destination of trips and hikes in the months and years to come. My first visit to it was on a trip to Lofoten Islands in Norway. I was checking the internet where to stop on my way north from Oulu. There was a mountain along my road called Aavasaksa and I heard that there is a great view and a special point to visit. But this arc stretches over a huge distance.  Well what is it then? The Struve Geodectic Arc is a kind of measurement device from the first half of the 19th century. At that time an exact shape of the Earth was not known. It was not clear if the globe had an exact ball shape or somehow different. So Struve (a German Baltic Scientist) together with the Russian Officer Tenner [Wikipedia] started to place virtual triangles by placing points in visible distance from the Black Sea to the Arctic Sea. Collecting data of these points they could calculate the shape of the Earth and it is known that they were really close to the actual shape. Nowadays these measurement points are an international cross boundary World Heritage listed by the UNESCO. Several of the points can be visited throughout Finland and the other countries. You will come across more of the points on this blog with the time coming 🙂

Well now let us have a look at the Struve Point at Oravivuori. Knowing that from the points Struve wanted to see the other points implies that the points often are placed on a hill, which means we will have a nice view 🙂 But first we have to get to the top…

The very first part is not really spectacular but curiousity did not let me keep calm …


But I was then stopped by this little guy walking over the path. He had to accept a photo session before I continued my hike.


Vegetation got more like in a nature reserve when suddenly…


…these stairs showed up.


They were a great help to get to the top of the hill.



On the hill you find a lookout tower and several information boards.


After Struve had made his measurements several other measurements were carried out here. That is why you will find several measurement points nowadays.



Information boards explain why it is a World Heritage and you can learn about how it works.




I really recommend to climb the tower. As I hoped, the views from the top are spectacular. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but I stayed here quite a while.




For some information about the Struve Geodetic Arc please check

-> Wikipedia

-> UNESCO about Struve Geodetic Arc

To reach the point you will see signs once you approach. Click on the Google Maps button below to find Oravivuori.