The World Heritage Site of Falun
The World Heritage Site of Falun consists of unique places and environments where you can discover how history has shaped the way we live today. Explore the world-renowned copper mine, the charming wooden city with its houses painted in Falun red, and the inviting landscape of the free-farming miners. Everything is close-at-hand and just waiting to be experienced.
The thousand-year-old activities in and around Stora Kopparberget in Falun make it an unparalleled piece of cultural-historical heritage. The mine, the city, and the free farming miners’ region were named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2001, as they were regarded as being worthy of preservation for humanity for the future.
In the 1600’s, a third of the world’s copper was produced here and historical buildings in and around the city bear witness to the wealth that made Falun one of the most important cities during the time of the Swedish Empire. For several centuries, Falun had a powerful influence on the technical, social, and political development of both Sweden and Europe.
Time-traveling through the centuries
A visit to the Falu Gruva mine is an extraordinary adventure. You can take guided tours in several different languages and take part in activities, both under and above ground, throughout the year. An underground guided tour takes you through large halls, winding walkways and deep shafts, and you’ll hear stories of life and work in the mine.
Above ground, you can see the impressive open-cast mine, Stora Stöten, and visit the interactive Gruvmuseet (the Mine Museum). There’s also a cosy bed & breakfast, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Large parts of downtown Falun are classified as World Heritage Sites. Authentic buildings, areas of wooden houses, large churches, a magnificent town hall, and the winding Faluån river bear witness to the golden age that really put Falun on the map.
In the Elsborg, Gamla Herrgården and Östanfors areas, there are still a lot of traces of the old Falun with older, well-kept wooden houses in red and buildings made of leftover stone. The miners, blast furnace workers and traders lived here, and the street names bear witness to the importance of the mining industry. Take a stroll, explore the surroundings, and try to imagine the crowds of people in the smoky streets of the time.
In summertime you can go on one of the many popular city hikes. Go with a guide and hear exciting and funny stories about everything that has shaped the city of Falun, such as notable people, the red paint, and the Falukorv sausage.
The free-farming miners’ region
The free-farming miners ran foundries that produced copper and owned shares in the Falun mine. They built stately farms with beautiful gardens outside central Falun to escape the roasting smoke that hovered like a lid over the city. Most of the free-farming miners’ farms are now privately owned, but Stabergs bergsmansgård, Stora Hyttnäs in Sundborn, and Linnés wedding cabin are open to visitors. Absorb the World Heritage atmosphere and enjoy the beautiful gardens.
Along the ‘Water’s way to the mine’ hiking trail (Vattnets väg till gruvan), or the bicycle trail around the Varpan lake, you can discover the magical surroundings of the World Heritage Site. See crops growing, remains of old living quarters, and several beautiful free-farming miners’ farms. These are private and not open to visitors but it’s absolutely fine to see them from a distance.