Kiruna, a city in motion. Kiruna is an exciting city to experience and get to know. Three cultures meet here – the Sami, the Swedish and the Finnish, all of which have had an important part in developing the mining community of Kiruna. The ore in Ripberget (Ptarmigan Mountain) was discovered as early as the end of the 1600’s, but only began to be mined in 1900.
The city was founded and built up by Hjalmar Lundbohm, the first manager of the LKAB mining company, who wanted to create a model society. With the help of prominent community builders, artists, architects and leaders in the mining industry, the foundations of the modern Kiruna were laid.
The ore body, which is the lifeblood of Kiruna, runs diagonally under the city. The black gold that once made the city grow in the wilderness is today the reason why parts of the city’s buildings are forced to give way to the world’s largest underground iron ore mine as it expands in depth.
The ongoing urban transformation in Kiruna is unique in many ways, with the old town center disappearing, buildings and environments being moved or demolished as the mining area grows.
The guided tour will give you an insight and understanding of how this process affects the city’s identity.
Our guide will take you on a tour through the old center of Kiruna, the lower Bolagsområdet (Company Area) which remains, and along the Gruvstadspark (Mine City Park) area I, where all the buildings have been demolished or moved.
We visit Kiruna Church, which was named Sweden’s most popular building in 2001, and our guide tells us about the plans to move the church. The journey continues up towards Luossavaara to get a view of the city and the mountains.
Kiruna’s two oldest buildings, the first with designation B1 is Kiruna’s first building
that was built in 1890, and B2, Kiruna’s second building that was built between 1895 and 1907 and was founder Hjalmar Lundbohm’s manager’s residence between 1898 – 1920. These two buildings, owned by LKAB, have now been moved from their historic location in old Kiruna to the Luossavaara area and restored over a period of 5 years. On November 27, 2022, the mining company LKAB reopened Hjalmar Lundbohmsgården to visitors, while a local restaurant is responsible for the operation and serves coffee,
lunch and dinners. We go through the old Company area and Gruvstadsparken in the old Kiruna. The tour ends with us visiting the area at Tuollavaara, which was inaugurated on September 1 and has become the new center of Kiruna.