Gimo, Uppland, Exploring Sweden

Gimo, Uppland – Exploring Sweden

Gimo is a small industrial-focused locality in the province of Uppland. Gimo and its 2.800 inhabitants are today a part of Östhammar Municipality in Uppsala County. However, its current size might hide the large industrial past and present. This is a former company town that once had ironworks at its center. Today the large manufacturing center for Sandvik Coromant has replaced the ironworks.

A Short History of Gimo

There isn’t much information about the early history of the area. For instance, there is a rune stone from the 10th century, Gimo was established on the grounds of the former Skäfthammar Parish, the parish church is today on the outskirts of the locality. The town has a long industrial history, officially starting already in 1615. However, this year refers to written records. In fact, the history of the ironworks might be a lot longer. In any case, it was in 1615 that the Swedish crown established a foundry here.

Louis de Geer eventually came to own the factory and it turned into a company town with ironworks at its center. Gimo remained in the ownership of the de Geer family until 1756. The new owners were John Jennings and Robert Finlay. It was Mr. Finlay who eventually began to further develop the company town, with major reconstructions and expansions. The ironworks had several more owners over the centuries and in 1893 it turned into a stock company. The company remained in business until about 1920 when it declared bankruptcy.

However, the end of the ironworks was not the end of the industrial era of Gimo. Rockwool produced mineral wool here from the 1950s up until 1992. The Swedish industrial company Sandvik was established in1951, manufacturing in Gimo under the brand Sandvik Coromant. The company is still active in the production of metal cutting tools and is the dominant employer in the locality with around 1.500 employees.

Things to Do and See

Many sights in Gimo are centered around the old ironworks and the surrounding nature. The industrial past is hard to miss and the many remains provide a peep-hole into the past.

Gimo Mansion

Gimo Herrgård is the former mansion for the company town. It is today housing a hotel and restaurant. The building itself is one of the more impressive ones in the locality and dates back to the 1760s. This was once the residence of the owner of the ironworks located next door.

Gimo Bruk

Gimo Bruk is the old company town with the ironworks at its center. Many of the buildings that once supported the ironworks are still standing and are creating a peep-hole into the industrial past.


Knutmasso is an annual festival celebrated in Gimo on Saint Knut’s Day in early January. On this day, the population of Gimo dresses up in different costumes and parades through one of the town’s streets. Many of these costumes are later on display at the museum located in the former mill, Knutmassomuseet.

Skäfthammar Church

Skäfthammar Church is on the outskirts of the town and was once the center of the local parish. This stone church was inaugurated in the 15th century and is today a part of the Skäfthammar-Hökhuvud congregation.

Gimo Friluftsbad

Gimo Friluftsbad is one of the public beaches. It is at the shores of Gimodammen and also includes space for play as well as many common amenities.

Lyssnarberget Nature Reserve

Lyssnarberget is a nature reserve in the northeastern part of the town. The reserve was established in 2005 and covers an area of 58 hectares. The reserve includes a forested area that is home to two rare beetles.

How to Get to Gimo

  • Flights: The closest major airport is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 81 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
  • Car: Gimo is between Uppsala and Östhammar and between Hargshamn and Österbybruk, where Road 288 meets Road 292
  • Bus: Local and regional UL buses connect Gimo with the surrounding region.
  • Train: There is no nearby train station. The closest one is in Örbyhus, 30 kilometers away.

The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Stockholm – 118 kilometers (1 h 22 min)
  • Gothenburg – 505 kilometers (6 h 1 min)
  • Malmö – 726 kilometers (7 h 42 min)
  • Linköping – 313 kilometers (3 h 22 min)
  • Kiruna – 1159 kilometers (13 h 18 min)

Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden

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