I have actively been exploring the country side in my county the past months. It is a part of a region that historically has been dense with iron works and mines – due to the wealth of natural resources of iron here – and the closeness to water (both the Baltic and the big and central lake Mälaren).
Most of these iron works are today closed – the iron processing has, since long, developed and is now concentrated to a few places. Even if the modern steel industry is far from these small iron works, the iron continues – after more than 2000 years – to be one of our most important natural resources. These old iron works are often beautifully located – always near water, since that was necessary for the process. Many of them have been preserved – and are easy to visit.
Many of them has local origins from ancient times, but the buildings that remains today are often from the 18th and 19th century. Sweden was often at war with Russia during the 17th and 18th centuries and many of the iron works (often close to the coast) were burned by the Russians and thus had to be rebuilt. The last war with Russia ended when Sweden lost Finland 1809.
The iron industry also went through a big expansion during the time. During the 18th century the Swedish iron works actually produced 1/3 of all iron in Europe! Not bad for such a small country (small in terms of population and very large in regards to area).
I really like these old vicinities – full of history and atmosphere. This particular iron works was founded by the Crown in 1570, but originates from – at least – the 15th century. If you want to see photos of another iron works a beautiful October day when you can find some photos here. A couple of photos from a grey November day can be found here. More info about the history of the Swedish iron works can be found here.
…and I love linden trees. Beautiful all year round – in very different ways.