How do you actually move an entire town? That is the question frequently being asked in Malmberget. Much like the more famous Kiruna, this town also is also about to be moved to make room for the ever-growing mine.
Only four kilometers from neighboring Gällivare, this small town will soon cease to exist.
Malmberget – A Short History
Malmberget has a long and shared history with nearby Gällivare. The first mining for iron took place in 1735 and the area has since been heavily connected with the iron mines. It was the building of the railroad, Malmbanan, at the end of the 19th century that made it possible to further develop the mining at Malmberget.
Today the big worry in the area is the so-called “Gropen“, the Pit in English. This pit has been caused by the underground mining at Malmberget and it is growing into the surrounding area. This has caused the need to move the town and the move has begun in recent years.
Things to do and see in Malmberget
There is a lot to do in the area around Malmberget. We have mentioned many of these things in our post about Gällivare. So let us concentrate on activities in Malmberget.
When the railroad was finished, workers moved to Malmberget. At that time a township was established with very simple housing. This township got the name Kåkstan and included everything from small shops and cafés to speakeasies. These simple houses were eventually demolished. 100 years after the opening of the railroad the houses were rebuilt and the area has become an important place in the town’s culture.
It is for us unknown if this area has survived until today, if it has been moved and if it is still accessible to the public.
Visit LKAB and the Mine
LKAB is the owner of the ore mine in Malmberget. LKAB has a research and visitor center. Visitors can go on a guided tour of the mine. This tour will take you 1250 meters below ground.
See a Town Being Moved
The ongoing move of Malmberget might be its biggest attraction of all. When visiting you will notice areas with houses both abandoned and missing. Malmberget is about to become a ghost town, which is fascinating for some.
How to get to Malmberget
- Flights: Closest airport is Gällivare Lapland Airport (GEV) which has a limited domestic service with flights to and from Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN). These flights make a stopover at Arvidsjaur Airport (AJR). Another, more trafficked, airport in the area is Kiruna Airport (KRN) which is an hour drive from Malmberget.
- Car: two main highways connect near Malmberget. These are E10 from the Gulf of Bothnia to Narvik in Norway and E45, which leads all the way through the center of Sweden.
- Train: Closest railway station will be found in Gällivare. There are a few trains per day connecting Gällivare with especially Kiruna and Luleå. Longer routes are available to Stockholm, Narvik, and Östersund.
- Bus: You will have to take a local bus to Gällivare to connect with most regional buses. These connect Gällivare with towns such as Luleå, Kiruna, Jokkmokk, and Pajala. In order to travel further, you’ll probably need to change buses in either Kiruna or Luleå.
The driving distance from 5 major Swedish cities, according to Google Maps:
Stockholm – 1138 kilometers (12 h 39 min) Gothenburg – 1482 kilometers (17 h 12 min) Malmö – 1745 kilometers (19 h 12 min) Luleå – 245 kilometers (2 h 42 min) Linköping – 1333 kilometers (14 h 39 min)
Find out more about other destinations in Sweden by visiting our page Exploring Sweden