Virsbo, Västmanland, Exploring Sweden

Virsbo, Västmanland – Exploring Sweden

Virsbo is a locality in Surahammar Municipality in Västmanland County. Around 1300 inhabitants live here in an area with a long industrial history. This was home to one of several iron mills in this part of Västmanland and the signs of the industrial heritage are still visible all around Virsbo.

A Short History of Virsbo

The iron mill here was established in 1620 when Johan de la Gardie received permission to build a hammer at the local rapids in the river Virsboströmmen. Production over the centuries has included ammunition, such as projectiles, and parts for the railway to mention a few. The industrial production is still ongoing and the iron mill is today split between three corporations.

More recent history has included two natural disasters. A smaller tornado struck Virsbo in 2007 causing trees to fall and a few cars to be overturned. Seven years later in 2014, the largest wildfire in Sweden in modern times threatened the area. Luckily the wind conditions were favorable for the locality as the firefront passed by at a safe distance.

Things to Do and See

Walking through Virsbo and along the river will take you on a ride along the many and long stories that the industrial past of the area has to tell. It is the industrial heritage that is the main attraction and the beautiful view out over the river is just a nice addition.

Virsbo Konsthall

Parts of the former mill buildings have found a new purpose. One of the former industrial buildings houses the local art gallery. The first exhibition took place in 2001. It was only supposed to be one exhibition, but the art center is still ongoing and developing.

Wirsbo Herrgård

Wirsbo Herrgård is the manor that once was the center of the iron mill. The building probably dates back to 1753 but saw major alterations in 1918. Today the manor house houses a conference business and a horse riding center.

Strömsholm Canal

Strömsholm Canal connects the inland along the river Kolbäcksån with Lake Mälaren. It goes as far north as Fagersta, making it one of the longest canals in Sweden. There is a total of 26 locks along the canal and one of these is in Virsbo. It is a small lock that has been named after the Swedish nobility Carl Sparre.

Virsbo Church

Virsbo was a part of Ramnäs Parish and did for centuries not have its own church. The church that stands here today was built in 1937 by the owners of the mill. It is today one of the churches making up Sura-Ramnäs Congregation within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden.

Virsboåsen Nature Reserve

Virsboåsen Nature Reserve was established in 2020 and covers an area of 57 hectares. It is on the northern outskirts of Virsbo and has several paths for walking or running. It consists of an area with bogs along the river Kolbäcksån.

Hälleskogsbrännan Nature Reserve

Hälleskogsbrännan is a huge nature reserve that was established in 2015 and covers an area of 6.420 hectares. This is part of the area that was affected by the huge wildfire in 2014, the largest wildfire in modern Swedish history. The closest entryway from Virsbo can be found at Skräddartorp.

How to Get to Virsbo

  • Flights: Stockholm Västerås Airport (VST) is 53 kilometers to the southeast.
  • Car: Virsbo is along Road 66 between Fagersta and Surahammar.
  • Bus: Buses from VL connect Virsbo with the surrounding region.

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

  • Stockholm – 165 kilometers (1 h 52 min)
  • Gothenburg – 394 kilometers (4 h 27 min)
  • Malmö – 615 kilometers (6 h 18 min)
  • Linköping – 214 kilometers (2 h 39 min)
  • Kiruna – 1214 kilometers (14 h 13 min)

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

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Manuel Calderón

    It is very striking that such a small city with very few inhabitants has so much history. An industrial area that preserves all the vestiges of its ancestors as a great city. The photos are spectacular and reveal the beauty of the city and its surroundings. A very interesting article to read and see.
    Manuel Angel

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