Silverringen translates into The Silver Ring. This takes you on a historical journey through the towns Silvberg and Säter in Dalarna, Sweden. It includes seven different stops that will teach you more of the history of silver and iron in the area. We visited them all and we found our favorites. Some are a must to visit – others you can skip if you don’t have the time. Join us as we explore Silverringen.
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Silverringen is a cultural trail of silver and iron
This cultural trail was part of our schedule during our press trip to Dalarna. We had a list of some highlights that we were supposed to see. However, we ended up visiting them all. Like I mentioned before – some places were awesome and some were just “ok”. There is a trail that you can follow to see them all. But we have decided to list them in the order we liked them most.
If you have time, you should visit them all. Even if some of the places only hold traces of what used to be. We drove the whole route within a couple of hours and we are glad that we did. It turned out that we were not completely attuned to which once we liked the most but here is a fair way of creating a list.
- Östra Silvberg – an old silver mining cave.
- Grängshammars bruk and Forsgrens slagghus.
- Ulfshytte bruk.
- Konsthjulet and konstgången i Sördalen.
- Bispbergs gruva – Bispberg mine.
- Silvbergs kyrka – a church.
Ostra Silvberg – An old silver mining cave
This old silver cave is one of the oldest in Sweden. It dates back to the 1400s when they used to mine silver here. The cave is since long abandoned and today it’s a great swimming spot during the summer. Östra Silvberg will easily get crowded a hot day because the turquoise water makes it a great place for swimming. And, in fact – here you can jump from the cliffs.
I’m not sure how deep the water is and when we search for information, we get different answers. So, the only conclusion that we have done is that it’s somewhere between 50 to 100 meters. That means that you can jump freely off the cliffs without hitting the bottom.
Diving in Ostra Silvberg
Mini and I are both divers. We had no idea that you can dive inside Östra Silvberg. We knew that you could go swimming but we didn’t do that either. Sure, the water looks incredible but at the same time – there was a lot of pollen in the water so it didn’t look that tempting. And we rarely swim in Sweden because the water is pretty cold.
The most unique thing about this cave is actually not the turquoise water. No, the most awesome thing is that you can see the trees and the sky, reflecting in the water. The natural pool is not that big but it draws a lot of people here and we can understand why. This is a place where you can spend several hours. And, while being here, make sure to check out the abandoned graveyard that’s closeby.
Odekyrkogarden – The abandoned graveyard
Once there used to be a chapel here. It was called Saint Nicholas’ Chapel and it was built by the rich people that mined the silver. The chapel was in use until the start of the 19th century and has been abandoned since then. It is only a short walk from the pool and well worth a visit. I got a special feeling walking around here. There’s not much left – only some gravestones. At the same time, there’s so much old history here.
This kind of tourism (morbid tourism) is a huge thing. But did you know that the term morbid tourism was coined in Sweden? We ended up walking around the graveyard for a while. Since there’s not too much to see here, it doesn’t take long to see the whole place.
Grangshammars Bruk and Forsgrens slagghus
Grängshammars Bruk and Forsgrens slagghus is a beautiful ironworks setting. The environment is super nice and it’s easy to imagine how this place used to look like during its glory days. Here, you can see Olof Forsgren’s (a famous Swedish entrepreneur) buildings and the rest of the houses – all made out of shimmering slag. The ruins are from the old coal house – just a nice place to visit.
Take your time and just admire what’s left. This place started up in the 1500s and had its glory in the middle of the 1800s. Make sure to get close and study the shimmering slag. It’s so impressive to see how they built this place. Another building that’s built in the same style is the building beside the church (another part of the Silverringen).
Who knew that it’s called pig-iron. In Swedish it’s called gjutgärn. This place had a production of pig-iron until May 1939 when they decided to close it down. There’s not too much left here but it’s still a beautiful place that is well worth a visit. From this period, you can see a lot of pillars that are left. The best-preserved building here is a smelting house that was built 1915 – 1916.
An interesting thing is that the tower of the smelting house is built out of the same shimmering slag as the one in Grängshammars bruk. It would be awesome to go back in time and see how it used to look like. I have tried to find some old pictures but most of them are just drawings. We just have to leave some things to the imagination and that’s not a problem for me – a have a pretty vivid imagination.
Konsthjulet and Konstgangen i Sordalen
Konsthjulet and konstgången in Sördalen is a special place for several reasons. For once, its location is perfect. Close to a waterfall in Ljusterån, this used to be a water wheel that served the nearby ironwork in Bispberg with water. It’s a complicated system with a walking beam that was about 2,5 kilometers long. This place operated until 1921 and there’s a wheel inside the building that’s reconstructed.
The house that holds the water wheel was built in 1740. I think that the building is opened at times and that you can go inside and see the wheel. However, when we were there, it was closed and there were no signs with information on the door about opening hours or something like that. But even if we didn’t get to see the wheel, this place was still really impressive.
Bispbergs gruva – Bispbergs mine
The mine in Bispberg is one of the best-preserved iron mining environments. For about 700 years they used to mine ore here. In 1967, they ended the mining and abandoned the place. According to the old history of this place, there have been several different mining accidents. This due to the way that mining used to be done and also that the mine was traitorous.
Today, you can see the buildings in all their glory. We had a kind of a hard time finding this place at first and ended up asking someone for directions. This place is impressive and it makes for a nice photo stop and also for a nice walk around the premises.
Bispbergs Klack – A nice lookout point
While visiting Bispbergs mine, you are pretty close to Bispbergs Klack – a lookout point on top of a mountain. There are several different lookout points here but the highest one is Bispbergs Klack with its 315 meters above sea level. It’s a pretty easy hike (about one kilometer from the parking) to the top. Once you find yourself on the top you can see all the way to Falun if the sky is clear.
The path is nicely marked and it’s not that steep. This means that you don’t need to be that fit to do the walk – it’s suitable for most people. We didn’t find the view spectacular but it was nice and if you are close by we recommend you take the time to visit the viewing point.
Silvbergs Kyrka – Silverg Church
One thing that makes this church unique is the octagonal shape that it has. It was completed in 1834 and replaced the old St Nicholaus chapel. When we visited the church, it was closed and we weren’t able to enter it. However, it was still a really nice stop along the Silverringen. The location of the church is incredible – right by the lake “Grängen”.
After walking around the church, we found a building that looked interesting. It was a building that (it turned out) was built the same way as the church. The thing is that the church is also built out of slag bricks but it is covered with plaster, unlike the other building. The building was one of Olof Forsgren’s slag houses.
Olof Forsgren’s Slag houses
Silverringen has a lot to offer. And one thing is the houses made out of shimmering slag. Olof Forsgren was a famous builder that worked between 1817 and 1855. Just like the shimmering slag at Silverringens, Gränshammars bruk, you need to get closer to be able to truly see the slag.
It kind of reminds me of jewelry and by getting up close, I felt the shimmers becoming mesmerizing. By the way, have I told you that I love everything that has some bling to it? Make sure that you read the sign about the slag houses (in English too) close to the church gate.
Jönshyttan is the place along Silverringen that has the least to show. The only thing that you can see here are some slag. No, my mistake, there are also remains of some buildings and houses but you would not be able to see it if it wasn’t for the signs that let you know what you are looking at. At this place, they used to melt silver. This was then and now is now and there is not much left.
We do get the point of having this place as part of Silverringen. At the same time, we think that the remnants that you can see here are too unclear. We both agreed that if you were to miss one thing along Silverringen, this is the thing that you can skip!
Finding your way around Silverringen
We ended up driving with our motorhome and visited all seven places (and more). It didn’t take that long and the distance between the different attractions along Silverringen is often close to each other. We fell in love with Silvbergs gruva so much that we ended up coming back there to explore it some more.
To get around you only type in the name of the attraction in google maps and it will take you there. The only “harder place” to find is Bispbergs gruva. However, if you google a picture of it and know what to look for – it’s no problem to find that place either.
Disclaimer: Our visit to Silverringen was part of a press trip that was arranged by Visit Dalarna. All the thoughts and opinions are our own!