The historic Sala mine preserves an exceptional group of buildings and underground features. It was Sweden’s richest source of silver, found in galena ore with zinc and lead. The silver was processed into coins or also precious household goods. The first royal charter for mining was in 1512. The peak of prosperity was in the 1530s und 1540s, after which mining became more difficult and less profitable. New shafts, pumping systems and steam engines were introduced in the following centuries. The mine went bankrupt in 1908, but was revived again after World War II and closed again in 1962; it has been a museum since 1988. Nearby, a quarry is still in operation, extracting pure white dolomite marble.
Various guided tours lead visitors through the galleries carved into the rock from different centuries. Visitors pass deep shafts, groundwater lakes and impressive cavities down to the floors at a depth of 60 and 155 metres, where they encounter an underground concert hall. One encounters traces and legacies of silver mining from the various centuries as well as remnants of zinc mining in the early 20th century.
Some 50 historic buildings that served different purposes are spread throughout the mining area and the town, which was founded by King Gustavus Adolphus II in 1624. You can explore the water management system of lakes, dams and canals that were built to supply the mine with energy to power machinery for water extraction, ore mining and ore smelting before steam power was introduced at the end of the 19th century. The main exhibition is in the ore sorting house; photographs are displayed in the steam engine house. Other attractions include the architecturally impressive shaft hoisting houses and offices, a powder house and a monumental clock tower.
|Recommended duration of visit:
|Duration of a guided tour:
|60 or 180 (Great Mine Tour) Minutes
|Access for persons with disabilities:
|For details see website
The outdoor area is freely accessible at all times throughout the year.
February to November
Tuesday - Sunday
3 different guided tours - for times see website