The Christine Church was constructed between 1642 and 1655. The tower was built a few years later, between 1658 and 1660.The church was built with red brick, which was handmade in the village Rankhyttan, 25km from Falun. Also the limestone which the pillars in the church are made from comes from Dalarna, from a place called Rättvik.
Inside the church the woodwork is painted in blue and gold. This was done during a big restoration in 1905. At this restoration the organ balcony with a new organ was built. There is also a second organ in the lower sanctuary. This organ is built in style of a Baroque organ, but was built in the 1980s. When it was constructed 300 pipes from an older organ from the 1724 were used, then there are 1605 new ones.
The pulpit (photo 2) and the altarpiece were made by the German sculptor Evert Friis in 1669.
Let's face it, this is your main reason for going to Falun and it's worth it. The mine, once so important to the Swedish economy, closed down in the early 90s after more than a millennium of mining! The company however still use the copper pigment for making paint and this is the reason so many Swedish houses are red. Swedish noblemen wanted their houses to look as posh as the brick houses they saw in Germany and this was the practical solution to brighten up their grey, wooden estates...
It was once the world's largest copper mine and one of Europe's largest employers in the 17-18th centuries. You start in the ticket and shop area which is also a World Heritage house with a great film on heritage sites around the world and such. There you also pay and are allocated a time to go down the mine on a guided tour. Summertime, tours are available at least every half hour in several languages (May to August) but off season, it is twice a day on weekends and an afternoon tour most weekdays (check page) and mostly in Swedish unless you book for a whole group.
You go down to 60 metres below ground level (but measured from the hill below the entrance) where you are taken on a tour of the 18-19th century mining area with everything from huge halls to ltiny tunnels. The mine has been improved for visitors here with wooden plank gangways and such but you can still see much muddier tunnels around you and don't come in your best clothes as you will get splashes on your trousers and shoes. Best is of course to come in boots but failing that, something you don't mind that it takes on a rusty colour here and there :) As for the rest of you, you get to borrow a rain cap and hard hat for the visit so don't worry about that. If you visit in winter, it feels nice and snug down there but in summer it will feel cool. You need to click on some of the naturally very dark pictures to see details.
The old mine office building is used as a mining museum and I have to say I was a bit disappointed as there wasn't much about the life of miners and their families which I always like to learn about. But I did enjoy the geology maps and historic models of the mine as well as the different minerals. There is also a collection of Lancaster smithery and of tools used in the mine as well as a collection of Swedish coins used in the 17-18th centuries when they were made of local copper and absolutely huge. You almost needed a sledge to transport money for a cow...But this, along with the visit to the mine itself, makes you realise the importance of the mine to the entire Swedish economy and why we could afford all those wars...
The building next to the museum houses what looks to be a very nice inn but it is closed wintertime so we could never try the food. There was probably the sausage we were looking for...:)))
Also belonging to the World Heritage are the tree wooden districts in town where miners and others lived. Ostanfors and Gamla Herrgarden are along the river, whilst close to the mine you will find Elborg where this picture is from. There is everything from bigger workshop yards to tiny crofts housing miners families of seven children and the like in the old days. Today, these are of course very popular areas to live in and full of artist workshops in summer.
The first church you encounter in town (the other one being Stora Kopparbergs Church which we never had time to visit), this takes pride of place in the main square. It is from the 1670s and inside, it has a peculiar folkloristic green colour to the details. Now and again it hosts organ recitals.
In the pretty village of Sundborn, not far east of Falun itself, you will find the home of one of Sweden's most famous painters. This is the house he was given by his local father-in-law and where Larsson (AND his very talented artistic wife, often overlooked) lived happily with their many children. All of this can be seen in his paintings; his house, the children...all in a comfy and happy atmosphere in typical Dalarna rustic country style. To be ctd.
This museum will be closed for renovations until 2007, so at the moment you can only visit the art hall (which had a floral exhibition on during our visit) and the supposedly good restaurant Kopparhatten but once it is modernised, it will give an even better view of life in Dalarna throughout times. The typical and much loved handicrafts found in the province is one and embroidered provincial heritage dresses are two things it is famous for as well as local folk music which is very famous throughout Sweden and often includes violins.
In Lugnet, just outside the centre, you will find the Swedish national stadium for skiing, which includes all disciplines apart from downhill ones. Many a Nordic ski World Cup and Championship final has been held here and for me, it was quite nice to finally visit this place that I so often see on TV sports broadcasts in winter, and especially to see it with snow. You can see the two terrifying ski jump slopes from all over town.
Adjacent to the stadium is a small museum I never had time to visit but which deals with the sport development in Dalarna which of course has a lot to do with cross country skiing since this is the province of the famous and historic Vasaloppet race.
Also belonging to the National Heritage crowd is this beautiful old head office of the mining company that stands by the main square to show its importance to Falun. It is not a building you can visit, and today the company has long since merged with Finnish Enso and calls itself Stora Enso, but it is a significant and very beautiful building.
The town hall in Falun looks similar to that in Nykoping...or Vaxjo, i.e. the typical 19th century county residence architecture. Sorry for the picture quality...not too bad considering that the camera battery froze so it is a mobile phone shot in snow storm!
This is a typical swedish work 35 km east of Falun. It contains of a few industrial constructions from the times when a few works in the area supplied the big coppermine in Falun with tools and other things.
Unfortunately there's no information whatsover there if it's not open and open it is only in july and august. It's not a big area so an hour is enough to see everything.
Gamla (old) Staberg is a flourishing mine-owner's estate near Falun and is one of the best preserved in the area.
There are timberbuildings from the 17th century and a newly restored baroque garden.
Very nice indeed!
This is a fascinating museum!
The coppermine was used until 10 years ago and had been that for several hundred years and is now a World Heritage Museum well worth a visit.
You can go 60 meters down on a guided tour and there's a museum about the mine on ground level.
There's also a café and a shop where there's alot of handicrafts to buy.
If you have the interest count on a half day for this experience.