Falu Gruva: Historical mine in Falun

Falu Gruva was once the largest copper mine and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a museum and the most visited tourist attraction in Falu Municipality and the whole of Dalarna. It is a great tourist destination and a really cool experience with the large mine around.

Make a visit here and experience the cool place and feel the wings of history. Here you can see visiting times and other things further down in the article:

Falu Mine World Heritage Site

Copper mining began as early as the 9th century in the mountain known today as Stora Kopparberget. The mine was first mentioned in a document in 1288 and continued to grow steadily until its heyday in the 17th century. At that time, around 1,000 labourers worked in the mine shafts, making Falu Gruva the largest workplace in Sweden.

Two-thirds of Europe’s copper production at the time was made here, and at the same time the mine was Sweden’s largest producer of gold and silver, making the region Sweden’s most important industrial area.

  • 1000 workers
  • 2/3 of Europe’s copper production
  • Sweden’s largest producer of gold and silver
  • Sweden’s most important industrial area

Falu Gruva becomes a museum

A small part of the mine was opened to the public in 1970. A lift has since taken visitors to a shaft 67 metres underground. On 8 December 1992, ore mining in the mine finally ceased and on 31 December 2001, Falu Gruva and the surrounding area with the city of Falun was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Today’s Mine Museum is part of the World Heritage Site and presents the history of the mine. The collection of artefacts began in the 1890s and the museum is considered to be Sweden’s first technical museum. In 2017, the museum was redesigned and offers many interactive elements that are exciting even for children. During your visit you will get a good insight into what it probably felt like to work in the mine at that time.

In addition to the museum, you will also find the World Heritage Site’s visitor centre on the mine site, as well as a restaurant and café for refreshments in between.

  • Opening part of the mine to the public in 1970
  • Last December 2001, the mine and surrounding area become a World Heritage Site.
  • Collection of artefacts as a museum began in 1890

Decline of the mine

The tour of the accessible mine shaft is probably the highlight of the visit for most visitors. The guided tour takes you down a total of 400 steps and a lift into the 67 metre deep shaft. Once there, you’ll need the right clothing, as the ground is not only muddy but the temperature is only a cool 5° Celsius. You can borrow safety helmets and raincoats on site.

400 steps down
67 metre deep shaft
Safety helmets, warm clothes and raincoats are available.
5 degrees Celsius down in the mine
Visiting the mine

Unfortunately, visiting the shaft is not possible for people with walking difficulties. The minimum age is also 3 years. But even if you don’t go down the shaft, Falu Gruva offers an impressive experience. The unmissable pit east of the museum, Stora Stöten, can be seen from various vantage points.

With a diameter of 1.6 kilometres and a depth of 95 metres, it is hard to imagine that it was only formed by the collapse of certain parts of the mine. This collapse, which occurred on Midsummer 1687, is still known today because the mine was empty at that time due to the holidays and not a single person lost their lives, and of course because a huge hole remained.

Minimum age 3 years
Not disabled friendly
Viewpoints around the mine
Diameter 1.6 kilometres
Depth 95 metres
Collapsed Midsummer 1687
The origin of falu red & Falukorv

At the sight of a red wooden house, most people immediately think of Sweden. Falu red, known as falu röd, is a colour that only became popular in the 16th century. The typical red colour comes from pigments made from the surplus masses from copper mining – today the only industrial product still produced in Falu Gruva.

Falu red colour begins to be used

Initially, it was mainly wealthy homeowners in the region who used the colour to paint their wooden houses to mimic a brick look. From Falun, the image of the red wooden houses slowly spread over the following centuries. Probably Sweden’s most famous painter Carl Larsson (1853-1919), who lived in his house Lilla Hyttnäs in Sundborn, just 13 kilometres away, helped the colour to its final breakthrough with his paintings.

By the end of the 19th century, falu red was represented in all social classes and regions of Sweden. The colour also benefited from its protective effect on wood and could be used on rough, untreated wood.

Falu red colour becomes popular in the 19th century
Carl Larsson’s paintings of red houses made the colour even more popular.

Falu sausage is created

A second product, very well known in Sweden, also owes its existence to Falu Gruva. The Falu sausage has its origins in the heyday of copper mining, when countless oxen were slaughtered over a long period of time to produce the leather straps needed. The meat was first dried and smoked to preserve it.

The German miners who worked in the mine in large numbers at that time brought with them knowledge of sausage making, which they shared with their Swedish colleagues. From around the 16th century, the smoked meat was also made into thick sausages – the falukorven was born and has long since landed regularly on Swedish plates as an integral part of Swedish home cooking.

Find here:

Gruvplatsen 1
791 61 Falun
60°36′0.77″N 15°36′59.5″E

Falu Gruva: Opening hours & admission

Opening hours

1. June – 17 June
Monday – Friday: 10:00 – 16:00
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 – 15:00
18. June – 14 August
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:30
15 August – 30 September
Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 16:00
1. October – 30 April
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 – 15:00

Entrance to the mine

All year round

Regular price: 200 SEK
Children: 70 SEK
Students: 170 SEK
Pensioners: 170 SEK
Families: 490 SEK

Falu mine – A truly great experience

Visiting the mine is a really good and exciting experience. Go down, walk around. Experience the museum. Eat a piece of good food. Buy ice cream. Shop in the mine shop and stroll around the lovely old-fashioned environment. There are several nice shops and other cosy things to experience when you are up in the mining area. Definitely worth a visit!

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