Kiruna: The town, the mine, the church

Last weekend, I headed up north for an unconventional girls weekend north of the Arctic Circle. It didn’t take long to settle into our accommodations and explore this strange and interesting town.

The town: 

Other than a handful of outdoors stores, and H&M, and delightful cafe (Cafe Safari), and a single pub (the Bishops Arms), Kiruna is a pretty tiny downtown. We thoroughly explored the town, enjoying the arctic light peeking around the building and quiet, snow-covered streets. dsc_0109dsc_0010dsc_0117dsc_0072dsc_9881dsc_0119These about-town sledges (sparkstøtting) were my favourite accessory. Practical for groceries around town, and it seems like you can really zip around on these over the snow!dsc_0107DSC_9949.jpgdsc_9971

The mine: 

dsc_9967The town completely evolves around the mine. In fact, as the mine is expanding, it swallows the town. The set of buildings where we stayed on the edge of the mine were slated to be torn down in the next year.

The railroad was completed in 1903 and iron started to flow out of Kiruna.  The mine is the absolute economic and cultural centre of the town. Our big Saturday night on the town included an apres ski at the hotel and a pint at the local pub. Everyone we met worked at the mine and never before have I discussed mining to this depth. In addition to being the heart of the town, it was quite picturesque as dusk settled around the town (which happened at around 2pm!)dsc_9976dsc_9981dsc_9975

The church: dsc_0103dsc_9894

The biggest tourist attraction was this beautiful wooden church. The Kiruna church is one of the largest wooden buildings in Sweden. The church was built between 1909 and 1912, right as this wild part of Sweden was being transformed into a mining centre. dsc_0083dsc_0095dsc_0089dsc_9911dsc_0090dsc_9917dsc_9902dsc_0097

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