Hallstahammar is a former company town in the province of Västmanland. The old hammers that once formed iron and steel here might be quiet today, but they have left signs in more ways than one. Not only does the locality’s name come from the hammers, many of the forges and factories still stand today.
A Short History of Hallstahammar
Hallstahammar was originally a part of Svedvi Parish. However, it became a municipality of its own in the 20th century. Hallstahammar and its history are closely linked with the area’s processing of iron and steel.
The Iron Processing
Smaller industries began to develop around the rapids of the Kolbäck River in the 17th century. The name of the area around the rapids is Trångfors and the rapids supported the first trip hammer here in 1628. In addition, another establishment a bit downstream at Hallsta in 1638 processed both iron and copper. The industry at Hallsta would, however, also concentrate on iron processing during the 18th century.
The Strömsholm Canal was ready in 1787 and it became an important part of the iron trade and transport from the region of Bergslagen. A forge was established along the canal in 1799 and it continued to develop during the 19th century until its closure in 1915. The development included new developments such as a steam hammer and a blowing engine.
Industrialization was important for Hallstahammar and its iron processing industry. In 1872 the company Halstahammars AB was established with the ironworks around Trångfors as its base.
Hallstahammar Municipality was formed in 1939 with the three industries as its cornerstones. These industries were Halstahammars AB together with Bultfabriks AB from 1873 and AB Kanthal 1931. Bultfabrik and Kanthal merged in 1970 and in 1983 they also merged with Hallstahammars AB. The company is today a part of Sandvik Group.
Things to Do and See in Hallstahammar
Many of the sights in Hallstahammar are in the area of Åsby Skantzen. Once an industrial area, it is today a tourist attraction. Even though this might not be the most touristic of places, there are some places of interest.
Åsby Skantzen could be considered a large open-air museum. It includes most of the main sights along the shores of the Kolbäck River, the Strömsholm Canal, and the Skantzen Lake. Several paths for walking takes visitors along the many sights, including the Trångfors Forge, the power station, and the locks of the canal.
The current forge was built in 1799, replacing the one from 1628. The forge is today a museum ran by the local heritage organization. The surroundings also include several other buildings connected with the old industry.
Strömsholm Canal was completed in 1795 and is 107 kilometers long. Hallstahammar is one of several localities that it passes through along its route between Lake Mälaren and Lake Barken. In Hallstahammar are a few of the canal’s 26 locks.
There is also a canal museum at Åsby Skantzen that tells the story of the canal’s origins and history.
Trångfors Power Station
The power station along the Kolbäck River opened in 1899. It remained in use until 1988 and is today mainly one of the historical sights within the area of Åsby Skantzen.
The Farming Museum
Within Åsby Skantzen is also the farming museum. It shows farming equipment from two centuries snd there is also a distillery that shows the production of alcohol.
It is in the center of Hallstahammar where you can find a lot of the town’s services. So this is where to head once you find yourself in need of groceries, clothes, or the Systembolaget.
How to Get to Hallstahammar
- Flights: The closest airport is Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST), 28 kilometers away, which has mostly low-cost carriers. In addition, there is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN), 112 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
- Car: Hallstahammar is along the E18 between Köping and Västerås.
- Bus: Local and regional buses from VL connect Hallstahammar with the surrounding region.
- Train: There are trains to Hallstahammar from Fagersta, Ludvika and Västerås.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 132 kilometers (1h 33min) Gothenburg – 362 kilometers (4h 16min) Malmö – 583 kilometers (6h 6min) Linköping – 179 kilometers (2h 14min) Kiruna – 1227 kilometers (13h 53min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden