Kolbäck, Västmanland, Exploring Sweden

Kolbäck, Västmanland – Exploring Sweden

Kolbäck is a locality in the province of Västmanland with around 2000 inhabitants. It has a long history, both as the church village for the local parish, as well as a junction for travelers and goods passing through the area.

A Short History of Kolbäck

The name, translated to coal stream, was originally the name of a nearby stream where the water supposedly was supposed as dark as coal. That is just one of a few theories of the name’s origin. The Kolbäck Parish has its origins in the Middle Ages and included nearby localities such as Sörstafors and Strömsholm. The parish church in Kolbäck opened already in the 13th century.

A Junction for Travelers and Goods

Kolbäck was for centuries a rest stop for travelers and Kolbäcks gästgivaregård, the local inn, was in business at least from the 1670s. Travelers eventually had to share Kolbäck with goods as it became a transport hub after the completion of the Strömsholm Canal in 1795. The number of goods and passengers increased, even more so, when the railway arrived here at the end of the 19th century. The modern locality has grown around the station instead of the old church.

Things to Do and See

A small locality can still have a long history and several sights. Additionally, as it’s so close to the countryside, nature is never far away. For anyone looking for an excursion to a larger town, then Hallstahammar is not far away, and neither is Köping nor Västerås.

Strömsholm Canal

Strömsholm Canal was completed in 1795 and is 107 kilometers long. It passes several localities along its route and has 26 locks to assist the ships to climb the 99-meter difference between the lakes of Mälaren and Barken. Through Kolbäck the canal joins the natural river, as it does for much of its route.

Kolbäck Church

The church dates back to the 13th century and is without much competition the most historical building still standing. It has since its opening been rebuilt several times, with the tower being added in the 15th century. It is today one of the churches of Hallstahammar-Kolbäck Congregation.

Kolbäcks Gästgivaregård

Kolbäcks Gästgivaregård stands along the canal and the Kolbäck River. Hostelry has been going on here at least since the 1670s. The current main building dates back to 1897, but there are parts dating much further back in time. The building is still used as an inn.


The story goes that there was a battle in 1251 between Swedish rebels and the crown at a location known as Herrevadsbro. Many consider this to be a location outside of Kolbäck, while others believe that it is a place in Västergötland.

A memorial of the battle was raised in 2005 and has since developed into an information point about the battle.

Kyrkbyåsen Nature Reserve

Kyrkbyåsen Nature Reserve is close to the church. It was established in 1975 and covers an area of only 8 hectares. It is a popular area for short hikes in nature.

How to Get to Kolbäck

  • Flights: The closest airport is Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST), 29 kilometers away, which has mostly low-cost carriers. In addition, there is Stockholm-Arlanda Airport (ARN), 129 kilometers away with both domestic and international flights.
  • Car: Kolbäck is along the E18 between Köping and Västerås.
  • Bus: Local and regional buses from VL connect Kolbäck with the surrounding region.
  • Train: Kolbäck is connected with to and from Eskilstuna, Linköping, Sala, and Västerås.

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

  • Stockholm – 130 kilometers (1h 23min)
  • Gothenburg – 361 kilometers (4h 5min)
  • Malmö – 583 kilometers (5h 51min)
  • Linköping – 174 kilometers (2h 10min)
  • Kiruna – 1228 kilometers (13h 49min)

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

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