Category Archives: historic building

Långban smelting and mining areas

I’m spending Easter in Långban, Värmland where my fiancées sister with family owns a croft that they use as a summer residence etc.

Långban is perhaps most famous for its smelting and mining areas where Iron has been mined since the 16th century. Around the mines the yeomenminers formed a small community, Långban.

During the 17th century the mines were closed but they reopened in 1711 and mining for Iron continued until 1956 and for dolomite until 1972. Långban has a geological claim to fame as more than 300 minerals has been found here, equal to ca 1/10 of all known minerals in the world, according to information signs this is the greatest number of minerals found in one place.

As mining has continued for such a long time the area is also interesting from a cultural historical point of view and the museum and area is well worth a visit. As I was going trough some old pictures I found these from a few years back of the mining area. So tag along we’re going to the mine 🙂

Happy Easter/Holidays etc

Magnus Reuterdahl


Pictures from da hood i.e. the nearby wood

If you ever wondered were I live this is it; the suburb Bergshamra.

Just a few minutes walk from my apartment in Stockholm I’m more or less in the wood and by the waterfront – yet I’m only a 10 – minute ride by the subway to down town Stockholm. Today we took a Sunday walk around the northern parts of Bergshamra down to the royal castle of Ulriksdal and home again.

Back in civilization again – only 13 days til Christmas and no snow in Stockholm!

Magnus Reuterdahl

Skokloster Abbey

A few days ago I wrote about a visit to Skokloster castle and published some photos, now it is time for some interior shots.

Sko church was built by the order of Cistercians as the nuns at Byarum in Smaland started to move to Uppland in the 13th century. It’s believed that work started ca 1230, ca 1280 is the inauguration of the high altar of the church, by then the nuns might have moved to Sko. As most medieval churches it has been added to, restored and changed over the centuries.

Skokloster kyrka interiör

Interior Skokloster Abbey

crucifix Skokloster kyrka

Crucifix, made of oak, mid-1200s.

Madonna, made of oak, the child’s head of hardwood, possible from Gotland, first quarter of the 1300s.

The Herman Wrangel monument in the grave Wrangelska choir. The sculpture is made by Daniel Anckermann (German) ca 1650.

Herman Wrangel golden armor

There are two artistic representations of the Battle of Gorzno in Skokloster Abbey, an oil painting and the stucco on the wall of the Wrangel tomb chapel.

The stucco is divided into a lower lot, where the battle scenes take place in a forest and river scenery, and a top where Swedish and Polish armies are seen in bird’s eye view, the Poles on the left and the Swedes on the right side. The stucco is based on a drawing preserved in the war archive, in Stockholm.

The information on the stucco is from an article in Fornvännen 1939 by Wilhelm Nisser; Daniel Anckermans stuckaturer i de Gyllenhemska och Wrangelska gravkoren (pdf in Swedish).

Magnus Reuterdahl

Heritage board’s course on Historic Landscapes day 3

It’s been a long day, and I’m rather tired so this just a quick update of the day.

We started off looking at the area around Sagaån (Saga river) where lots of time and effort has been put in over the years concerning a new route for the highway E18. One alternative was to put the route between two great mounds and the assumed place for the medieval king’s road Eriksgatan and the passage where the king left Västmanland and entered Uppland. The other alternative was to place the route in a landscape which shows a well-worked-industrial agricultural landscape. The issue has been resolved and the new route is being built but it was an interesting discussion on how to different values sometimes clashes.

From there we continued north towards Bergslagen and Norberg – on the way we stopped by the grave field at Anunds mound at Badelunda – an amazing site – well worth a visit. Anunds mound is the largest burial mound in Sweden measuring 60 m diameter and 14 meters in height. On the grave field are also several smaller mounds, ship settings and a line of stones, including a rune stone, a monument called a bridge. The grave field is dated to the Iron Age and the rune stone bridge monument to the late Iron Age or the middle Ages.

After this we stopped at the UNESCO world heritage site Engelsberg Ironworks – a part of Bergslagen ( Engelsberg is one of the best preserved ironworks from the 17th and 18th centuries. The complex is more or less complete, with a manor, with smithies, and blast-furnace among other things.

Though I don’t have a photo – the worlds oldest, still standing, oil refinerie is also in Engelsberg , built during the early 1800s.

From here to Norsberg and a visit to Nya (New) Lapphyttan – Nya Lappnyttan is a reconstructed medieval village, Blast furnace and Iron production open-air museum based on an archaeological excavation of Lapphyttan, during the 80’s, of one the oldest blast furnace remains in Sweden and Europe. It’s been dated to the 12th century.

This is all for now

Magnus Reuterdahl

Heritage board’s course on Historic Landscapes day 2

Today we visited Västra Syninge (Syninge west) a farm with several interesting features, with the help of a map from 1630s and a modern map one can trace a lot of the 17th century landscape – a farm that has moved, across the road?, traces of fossilized fields in form of clearing cairns field edges. Lots of interesting discussions concerning how to interpret these traces, for example their age, how to classify them, what scientific and pedagogic value they have and so fourth. The most rewarding discussion, according to me, was that concerning the remains of an earlier farm. According to Swedish Cultural heritage act, a monument or remain classified as ancient monument/remain must be permanently abandoned. This particular farmstead is permanently abandoned and can be traced back at least to medieval times. On the historic map are two adjacent farms, of which this is one, the other is still where it once was and in use. As the remains are a part of the remaining farm the area isn’t abandoned – how it categorizes relic?

This might seem as an easy question but isn’t, should a part be classed as ancient monument? That would be as putting a dead mans hand on it making it impossible or next to impossible for the farmer to use. Should we class it as something else with another or lower protection risking that it gets destroyed or are there other ways? Lots of interesting questions that has no straight answer.

I’m sorry to say I have no photos of the area, as it was bit rainy and several of the remains were very difficult to photo.

After this we went to Finsta – visiting the, assumed, birth place of  Birgitta (Bridget) Birgerstotter or Saint Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden in 1303,  a more likely place is Fresta,  according to ledgend Birgitta had her first holy vision here in a place called Birgittas Bönegrotta (a cave in which she prayed).  Here we discussed the importance of accuracy, it is more or less clear that Birgitta wasn’t born here and therefore didin’t have her first vision here – – So how do that influence on the historic value of this site? Does it loose or reduces its historical value if Birgitta was not born here? Or does the tradition in itself a historical background which gives it a historical value? I think the latter – over long time people has connected this place with Birgitta, and come here as a pilgrimage or as interested tourists and that makes the place a site of interest.

So not to lure people to Finsta – there are no remains of the medieval Finsta that Birger Persson , Birgittas father, owned though there is a small cave that tradition call’s Birgittas. But if you do visit don’t miss the wonderful Iron Age grave fields just a few hundred meters away and the medieval church.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Skokloster castle

Yesterday me and my fianceé visited Skokloster castle, ca 65 km from  Stockholm, by lake Mälaren. The castle is beautifully situated on the waterfront and the roads leading up to the castle are surrounded by old farms and crofts – a treat in it self. The castle is mainly built during the years 1654-1676 by Carl Gustaf Wrangel, but the work never really ends on building such as this.

The castle is more or less built upon an earlier Cistercian nunnery  convent, Sko kloster, which gave named the castle. The monastery was founded in the 1230s, not much is left of the nunnery but the Abbey is situated just next to the castle and the there is the Stone house. The church was consecrated in the 1280s, it has been rebuilt several times and its present appearance came during a renovation in the 1620s.

The Stone house is  a big stone house just next to the castle, its oldest parts are from the 14th century, in form of a basment. The house has since been extended and changed several times and today’s appearance is from the 1740s when Erik Brahe built out and rebuild the house .

Around the castle is a park, in the French style, which is lined with impressive avenues.

The avenue trees are old, crocked and bent, as you can see in these pictures.

The castle and the church is open for visitors, I will return with pictures of the interior in a coming post.

Magnus Reuterdahl

Skokloster castle

Today I’ll go visit Skokloster castle a few miles from Stockholm. Skokolster is Carl Gustaf Wrangel’s (1613-1676) 17th century castle, a beautiful building and a beutiful place. I thought I’ll play with my new camera for a few hours so I hope I got some nice shots when I return.

Magnus Reuterdahl

On a shopping spree

The paycheck is burning a hole in my pocket so I went on a small shopping spree and bought some fantastic hand colored 17th century prints from the book Antiquae urbis splendor (1612-1628) by Giacomo Lauro (1583-1650). It’s quite fantastic to realize that you’re holding a sheet of paper from the 17th century in is such good condition and that the colors are so alive after more than 400 years. I’ve excavated much younger artifacts in much worse condition than these, though, obviously, not made of paper.

Here are a few of the prints – enjoy!

De Copiis Romanorum maritimis

Thermae Titi Vespasiani

On the back of each print is a text in Latin, German and French

Templum Honoris et Virtutis

Magnus Reuterdahl

Uppgränna 2009

 Uppgränna 1

A few weeks ago I passed Uppgränna, a small community just north of Gränna on the east shore of lake Vättern. Uppgränna is a beautiful small community beneath the shadow of the ruin Brahehus. Brahehus was built in 1650 and destroyed in a fire 1708, more info and pictures can be seen here.

Uppgränna Brahehus

Uppgränna Brahehus 2

Besides the view one can also see this rune stone (Sm 122) in Uppgränna.

Sm 122

Inscription; suin : risþi : stina : þesi : eftiR : oslak : auk : eftiR : kuta : sun : hons : en : oslaks : uas : bruþiR : suins :

Translation; Sven raised these stones after Áslakr and after Goti, his son. And Áslakr was Sven’s brother.

The inscription indicates that Sven raised more stones than one.

Minnessten Uppgränna kapell

Only a few meters from the rune stones is a spring, St. Gertruds spring, by which a small chapel, Helga korsets kapell (the chapel of the holy cross) was built during the Middle Ages and served in the 1700s, it is also said that there was a grave field with mounds here. Of the chapel there is nothing left and as far as I know there are no visible traces of the cemetery either, though the source is still filled fresh water, but it is on private land.

Magnus Reuterdahl


Järstorps kyrka

Yesterday I visited Jarstorp (Järstorp) church just outside Jonkoping to take a picture of a small runic inscription on one of the foundation stones at the NW corner of the ship on the outside. The church is not medieval but it stands on a medieval base.

 SM 119 M Runic

The inscription is IARNSTORB (SM 119 M) which is the place name and parish name of the Church; it’s covered by a steel plate.

 SM 119 M Runic_2

Jarstorp church is also a good example of how to make modern additions to a church, a ramp for wheelchairs has been added, this blend well into the church building. I think it is important to show good examples and I think this is a good example that function, architectonical elements and cultural values can work together.

Järstorps kyrka ramp

Järstorps kyrka ramp2

Magnus Reuterdahl

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