Karlholmsbruk, Uppland – Exploring Sweden

Karlholmsbruk is a locality and former company town in the northern parts of the historical province of Uppland. It is today a part of Tierp Municipality in Uppsala County but was in the past an industrial hub within the Väsland Parish. The locality was once the home of large ironworks, but most of the industrial production is today discontinued. Karlholmsbruk, with a population of around 1.200 inhabitants has since changed focus with a hope to become a seaside resort at Karlholm Strand.

A Short History of Karlholmsbruk

Karlholmsbruk is a former company town and a settlement that has grown around the ironworks. The ironworks was established in the 1720s by Charles de Geer. The ironworks stayed in operations until the 1930s before being closed down. Before then the old Wallonic hearth had been replaced by a more modern Lancashire hearth.

In addition to the ironworks, the forestry industry established itself in Karlholmsbruk in the 1910s. The production included wood fiberboards at Karlit AB, a company that went bankrupt in 2012.

Things to Do and See

Karlholmsbruk has been able to preserve a large part of the industrial past, which also includes the worker’s cabins. The area itself offers a walk into the past in a very picturesque environment.

Lancashire Hearth

The Lancashire hearth was a new addition to the iron production when it opened in 1880. It was active until 1931 and is today one of the most historically important buildings in Karlholmsbruk. The old industrial building is today a part of the local heritage and both the interior and exterior have been well-preserved.

School Museum

The School Museum is in the old school building from the 18th century. This is where you can learn more about the school of the past.

The Clock Tower

The clock tower was important because workers needed to know when to start and finish their working day as well as when it was time for breaks. It was also used to call the inhabitants to church. The tower is believed to have been built in the 18th century.

Karlholm Church

When the company town was established in the 18th century the owner also built the Karlholm Church. The church was completed in 1737 and was part of the Västland Parish. The church moved to its current location in 1895.

The Pond

Between the mansion of the company town and the worker’s cabins is the pond, “Dammen“. It is today a green oasis with walking paths and benches for resting. It is also one of the better places for photos that include both nature and the industrial buildings of the past.

How to Get to Karlholmsbruk

Flights: The closest major airport is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, 113 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
Car: Karlholmsbruk is along road 76 between Gävle and Östhammar.
Bus: Local and regional UL buses connect Karlholmsbruk with the surrounding region.
Train: Upptåget has trains to and from nearby Älvkarleby.

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

Stockholm – 150 kilometers (1 h 48 min)
Gothenburg – 614 kilometers (6 h 18 min)
Malmö – 758 kilometers (7 h 37 min)
Linköping – 345 kilometers (3 h 57 min)
Kiruna – 1117 kilometers (12 h 42 min)

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

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