Falun Mine, World Heritage

The contrast could not be greater, hamlets and small villages bordering idyllic lakes, set within an expanse of woodland. Then, suddenly a red gorge appears: The Falun Mine. Once the world’s largest copper mine and today the heart of a unique historic industrial landscape, which was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. A path meanders around the mine and passes some cabins, which are dangerously close to the edge of the abyss, and were formerly used to drag the ore with a rope winch to the surface. More than one thousand years of the mine’s history are displayed in the local mining museum. Most spectacular is the coin cabinet with probably the heaviest and largest coins that were ever minted – they weigh almost 20 kilograms. The most exciting part of a visit is to descend into the 67 metre deep gallery and underground chambers, which took the Swedish miners centuries to dig out of the rock. The manor houses built in the area demonstrate that mining was a very profitable business. There are also the preserved remains of canals and moats which carried the large quantities of water from the lakes to the smelting works.

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Falun Mine, World Heritage
Falu Gruva
Gruvgatan 44
791 61 Falun
+46 (0) 23 - 782030


It happened at four o’clock in the afternoon on the 25th June 1687: with an enormous roar the copper mine Kopparberget in Falun collapsed creating a massive hole. Miraculously, on that day all the miners were off work, so none of them died Today, one of the best viewpoints of the site is Hyttberget, a slag hill, which itself is part of the area’s industrial heritage. From Hyttberget you can see the dramatic red gorge of the collapsed mine and the small village of Falun surrounded by woodlands and lakes. Legend has it that, in the 8th century, the white goat Kåre, with its red-stained fur, set the local farmers on the track of the copper sources. At this time people started to collect and melt bog ore. Later they built galleries and lit underground fires to separate the ore out from the rock. By 1288, according to records from the time, Kopparberget was a  profitable industrial site with its own mining company. Nearby, the town of Falun was built, which for a time was the second largest town in Sweden after Stockholm. Many of the wooden houses are built on blocks of copper slag and painted with “Falun rotfarg”, a colour that was extracted from the red oxide of the mine. Kopparberget’s continued development and prosperity had a significant influence on Sweden’s advancement as a great European power. In the 17th century Swedish copper played an important role in Europe. Many castles and manor houses have roofs made of Falun-copper, most notably the Royal Palace of Versailles. The collapse of the mine in 1687 brought to an end Kopparberget´s time of prosperity. Nevertheless, the mine remained active until 1992 and produced other precious metals such as gold and silver. Today, the many manor houses, smelting works and miners’ villages are evidence of the great importance that the local copper industry once had for Sweden and Europe.

Recommended duration of visit:4 Hours
Duration of a guided tour:60 Minutes
Access for persons with disabilities:For details see website
Infrastructure for children:
Visitor centre on site:yes
Gift and book shop on site:yes

World Heritage House:
May, June, 11-31 August: Monday - Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday, Sunday 11am-4pm
July - 10 August: daily 10am-5pm
October to April: Monday - Friday 11am-5pm; Saturday, Sunday 11.30am-4pm
Guided tours of the mine:
May, June, 11-31 August: daily 11am-3pm
July - 10 August: daily 10am-5pm
October to April: Monday - Friday 2pm; Saturday, Sunday 12am and 2pm
for more information see website

  • Guided tours optional
  • Tours in other languages
  • Guided tours for children