Kiruna, 6th September 2006


Kiruna is a special town. Those two points relate. The mine was there before the city. The city was built for the mine, not vice versa. The ore is so rich of iron that it sticks to a magnet. LKAV has a underground exposition, with a cinema. A three dimensional model to scale shows the size of the mine. It is huge. The mine hosts an odd 400 kilometers of tarred road underground. The mine is larger than the city.

At quarter past one at night I feel a small earthquake. These are the daily, underground explosions to get loose ore for the next mining day.

The mine is active for a hundred years already and the richest ore is yet to come. A small problem: That ore is below the city.

In a couple of years the train station will sink first. The town hall will follow shortly, just like the LKAB hotel and the house of the first president: Hjalmar Lundbom. The city enter will sink next.

It is a bit of a special development to me. The city of Kiruna was planned with so much care for detail. Hjalmar Lundbom did have a pleasant city constructed with:

The mine kept the city going for a hundred years. And now the very same mine undermines its own city. If only the old Lundbom had known, he probably would have planned Kiruna at the other side of the mine.

Get to know more about Kiruna?

Visit the house of
Hjalmar Lundbom.

The Portuguese lady guide
answers all your questions
in Swedish, English
German or Portuguese.

+46 70 54 74954

The guide of the Hjalmar Lundbom home recommends the Samegården museum. That museum displays the life of the indigenous people of this area. The mine threatens their living area too. Big difference: It started a hundred years ago and that threat was external.

The exposition reminds me of the Aboriginals in Australia

I leave Kiruna with mixed feelings. The nature here is beautiful at the start of autumn. In a couple of months this place will be a gorgeous winter wonder land. The city is nice, well designed or isn't it?

Till next nut.