Røros Mining Town (World Heritage)

By | September 3, 2021

Røros is the best preserved mining town in Norway. The city center has numerous old wooden houses, narrow streets and villas, which are dominated by the mighty church tower. Copper mining began in the 17th century and ended in 1973. The world heritage was expanded in 2010 to include the agricultural and industrial landscape. Check thedresswizard to see Practical Advice for Your Trip to Norway.

Mining town of Røros: facts

Official title: The mining town of Røros and the surrounding area
Cultural monument: 80 miners’ houses, the stone church of Røros, the copper works, the Nyberget and Crown Prince Olav mines; 2010 Expansion to include the agricultural and industrial landscape
Continent: Europe
Country: Norway
Location: Røros, north of Oslo, at the mouth of the Røa
Appointment: 1980, extension 2010
Meaning: one of the most important industrial centers in Northern Europe with a completely preserved mining town from the 17th / 18th centuries. Century

Mining town of Røros: history

75-250 Iron ore smelting near Granlundvolle (Ålen)
120-340 Iron ore smelting near Tverråbakkene (Ålen)
1644 Discovery of copper ores on the Røros plateau
1646 first smelting
1650 first church building
around 1680 Rasmusgård
1697 Fire disaster
1780-84 second church building
1923 Monument protection for parts of the miners’ houses
1977 Smelting task

Melting point 1054 ° Celsius – Copper Age in the far north

“The broken edges of cast copper are hooked to grainy, while those of forged and rolled copper are sinewy with a silky sheen.” Copper, one of the oldest metals known to man, is a familiar companion in history. Encyclopedias from the turn of the century devote many valuable pages to the question of the extraction and smelting of copper ores. By 1900 the versatile metal had advanced to the secret fashion material of industrial modernity. No electricity could do without a copper wire, no wooden ship’s floor that was not protected against worms and clams with thousands of copper plates. On a world scale, the copper deposits in this Central Norwegian region may not have been of particular importance. For the rugged mountain region in the hinterland of Trondheim, the extraction and smelting of copper pies meant nothing less than work and modest prosperity for generations of miners. The “Kobberwerk” in Røros quickly developed into one of the largest industrial companies in Northern Europe. It supplied around 73,000 tons of raw copper from the middle of the 17th century to the end of the 19th century. Traditional copper mining was a comparatively exclusive affair, by no means a mass operation of a faceless group of workers. Century about 73,000 tons of raw copper. Traditional copper mining was a comparatively exclusive affair, by no means a mass operation of a faceless group of workers. Century about 73,000 tons of raw copper. Traditional copper mining was a comparatively exclusive affair, by no means a mass operation of a faceless group of workers.

For several centuries, the mining way of life in Røros was able to develop almost undisturbed. The remote location was spared major destruction, but not the structural change in international mining. The change from the industrial coal and steel location to a tourist attraction was exemplary. In addition to a rich cultural offer, the area around Røros offers unspoilt natural beauties that make the harsh climate of the far north an experience. The copper smelter and copper gravel pits are an integral part of a fund of sights which, in addition to the sparkling, Wilhelminian-era power station, also includes bizarre relics such as the “Hiort Chapel”. An apparently rather quirky mine director was buried in the crypt of this little church – embalmed and in complete miner’s gear.

The real capital, however, is an intact ensemble of historic wooden buildings. Predominantly erected on a rustic-looking foundation of layered stone layers, the house roofs, which are often covered by an insulating layer of vegetation, support the down-to-earth habit. In the short Norwegian summer months, these involuntary roof gardens can suddenly turn into lush carpets of flowers. Røros Bergstad was and is not a social housing with a green-alternative touch, but at best comparable to a picturesque Swiss mountain village, admittedly with the unmistakably bitter Nordic ambience. In the multitude of whitewashed small window cavities there are sometimes – a distant offshoot of the Southern European Renaissance – large, glazed window openings, whose representative triangular gables were, as it were, placed on the darkened wooden walls of the houses. The carefully cherished wooden buildings are grouped around a stone church. Wherever economic success and piety meet for a limited period of time, a symbol of down-to-earth self-confidence that is as proud as it is characteristically somewhat too lush tends to emerge. Røros is no exception. As sedate as a medieval defense tower, the church, which was built towards the end of the 18th century in a conservative design language, rises above the orderly jumble of blackish beams. On the tower flanks, visible from afar, the possible symbols of the miner’s “tough”, hammer and mallet, testify to the character of the settlement.

Røros Mining Town (World Heritage)