Grängesberg Ghost Town

This gallery is part of my journalistic project “Grängesberg Ghost Town”, which explores the history of a small Swedish town that changed forever when the iron mine closed in 1990. The description of the project reads: “Welcome to the town of Grängesberg, once the home of Bergslagen’s largest orefield and Sweden’s most lucrative company – today an echoing ghost town.” The Flickr album in its entirety can be found here.


huset hela

This old giant is only one of many structures to have been left to the elements after fissures in the ground forced central Grängesberg to be moved in the 1970s.


rum ror

The inside of the building is not in any better shape than its exterior.


door ruin


spiraltrappa2

This old staircase has certainly seen better days.


spiraltrappa

The basement was too dark to be photographed. This was as far as the camera got.


fagel bla

However, the destruction has also given birth to beautiful art…


window

…and even in darkness there is light.


kulle hus

Now nature is doing its best to take it all back.


logg


rift2

In Sweden we have a beloved children’s tale called “Ronja Rövardotter” by author Astrid Lindgren. The fissures surrounding these ruins remind me of a chasm called “The Hell Gap” from that story.


Fordelningcentral1

This old electricity distribution central from the old mining era will probably fall into “The Hell Gap” before very long.


Fordelningcentral3

It is in very bad shape…


tegel rasat

…and seems to be waiting to fall apart completely.


tegelsal1

Walking inside it feels like a stupid death trap, and still entering is irresistible.


Fordelningcentral2

Here, as well, nature is making its claim on the old structures.


tegelsal2

The markings of the fissures can be seen everywhere…


scrap1

…and in many places only scraps remain where once was industrial glory.


tegelsal3

The second floor has more the feel of an art gallery than a factory building.


byggnad2

In the surrounding woods many more forgotten buildings can be found.


tegel splatt

Soon, however, only bricks will remain.


rift1

Once again we see how the hollow ground is taking its toll.


tunnor view

In the distance, past the quarry, some of the more fortunate mining buildings can be seen.


utkik bg

This beautiful place was once one of the richest industrial loci in Sweden.


utkik 3

Now not much remain but eerie memories.


fordelning bygg2


tegelpelare


Utsikt Jonny


utkik jonny2


utkik 2


heart torn


Svamptrad

This odd witch-tree grows on almost the exact spot where once a wooden church towered proudly. The church was moved to the town of Orsa at the same time as the entire Grängesberg town center was moved 500 yards to the east in the 70s. If the tree is a sign of something, I leave to the more superstitious to decide.


stol


kalfallet1

The street of Källfallet was built as worker dwellings 1896, but since the mine closed down 1990 they have stood empty. Squatters have occupied them in periods, but have always been driven out by the police.


kalfallet2

Recently an organization was founded in order to save the old houses from being torn down, and each house has been granted the equivalent of approximately 100 000 USD for renovation…


kalfallet3

…but the smell of mould on the air along the entire street, together with the state of the buildings, make me suspect that sum will be insufficient.


Lav

Some of the old structures have been preserved and still stand in good shape, however.


Cassels

This old mansion like building is the culture- and concert hall of Grängesberg, named after the town’s past benefactor Ernest Cassel who brought the railroad here in the 1870s.


Cassels2


hjulet

The Lomberg Wheel still stands as a reminder of how the mine got its power before electricity came to Grängesberg in 1893.


Mojsen

In the museum Mojsen’s Mining Centre, driven enthusiasts help people take a huge step back in history to the glory days of Grängesberg and its mining industry. It is really worth a visit if you’re ever in town.


granges centrum4

Other than this, today’s Grängesberg is a very average small town.


granges centrum3

It has a totally okay restaurant called Stopet, a go cart track and one of the Swedish brewery giant Spendrup’s factories.


granges centrum2

An uninformed driver wouldn’t probably raise their eyebrows between the signs for ‘welcome’ and ‘welcome back’.


granges centrum1

But in the forests around Grängesberg, the town’s iron weighed history still looms amongst the never forgetting trees.


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Published by

voeko

Chris is a freelance writer struggling with the novel that will make them an author.

2 thoughts on “Grängesberg Ghost Town”

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