Tidaholm, Västergötland – Exploring Sweden

Tidaholm is a locality in the province of Västergötland. It has today a population of around 13.000 inhabitants and the town has grown around the local industries. Especially the ironwork and the Vulcan match factory have been central to the town’s history and growth. It is the seat of the Tidaholm Municipality.

A Short History of Tidaholm

What is today Tidaholm was for centuries the small village of Agnetorp. It wasn’t until 1799 that the development of the area finally started in earnest. It was that year Tidaholms Bruk (or works) received its privileges to establish an ironworks on an island in the river Tidan. The production has included the ironworks itself as well as wagons and trucks.

Tidaholm began to grow into a town first at the end of the 19th century after the opening of a match factory known as Vulcan. The transformation was completed in 1910 when the town of Tidaholm was established. It remained a town until the municipality reforms of the 1970s. In regards to Vulcan, it is the only still surviving match factory in Sweden. However, fate did provide a few challenges along the road. The factory actually burned down already during its first year of operations and that was only the first time.

The railway arrived in 1876. It was, however, only a sidetrack, and its use was discontinued during the second half of the 20th century. The final tracks were removed in 1995.

Things to Do and See in Tidaholm

Tidaholm is a fairly small place with many sights within walking distance. Here we list some of the things you can see in the town.

Helliden Castle

Helliden Castle is a manor house at the outskirts of Tidaholm. It dates back to 1858 and today it houses the Helliden Folk High School, an adult education centre.

Tidaholm Museum

The town’s museum covers three main topics. It is the history of the industrial town, the vehicles of the works, and the Vulcan match factory.

The River Tidan

The river Tidan is one of only a few rivers in Sweden that flows north. Its length is 187 kilometers and it passes by Tidaholm as well as a few other populated areas. It eventually ends in Lake Vänern. Along the river, both in and around Tidaholm, there are several activities available for visitors.

Tidaholms Stadsbibliotek

The public library is housed in a renaissance building from the end of the 19th century. It is also a location for temporary exhibitions.

Turbinhusön

The island Turbinhusön is encircled by the Tidan river and offers a cultural environment. It was originally the location of a turbine house. The former turbine house is today an art gallery and the island a part of the town’s industrial heritage. Today you will also find a museum, a café and other small shops here.

Vulcanön

This is the second of the important industrial islands encircled by the river Tidan. Vulcanön was the location of the ironwork as well as the Vulcan match factory. It is here that one can find Tidaholm Museum and many more historical buildings. The buildings connected with the match factory were demolished in 1987.

Idrottshistoriska Museet

Idrottshistoriska Museet is the museum of the history of local sports. The museum celebrates the achievements of local athletes and sports teams.

Gamla Torget

Gamla Torget, the old square, could also be considered the main square of Tidaholm. The square is surrounded by historical buildings from the end of the 19th century and it is the location for many local events.

How to Get to Tidaholm

Flights: The closest larger airport is Göteborg Landvetter Airport (GOT) 134 kilometres away. There are both domestic and international flights. Another option is Jönköping Airport (JKG), 61 kilometres away, with mostly chartered flights.
Car: Tidaholm is on road 26 with connections to Jönköping and Skövde and on road 193 with connections to Falköping and Hjo.
Train: The nearest train stations are in Falköping or Skövde. There are no longer any passenger or cargo trains to Tidaholm.
Bus: Regional and local buses connect Tidaholm with the surrounding region.

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

Stockholm – 364 kilometers (4h 27min)
Gothenburg – 150 kilometers (2h 5min)
Malmö – 352 kilometers (4h 2min)
Linköping – 192 kilometers (2h 19min)  
Kiruna – 1461 kilometers (17h 49min)

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

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