As I mentioned before, the Tourism Destination Program includes a few study trips, which actually make this program very attractive. So, besides travelling around with friends on our own, we also got a great opportunity to see many of the important Swedish sites within the study program.
On November 11, 2013 we went to the famous copper mine in the neighboring town Falun. The copper mine has a long history. A few centuries ago it became a very important natural resource and started bringing significant revenue for the Swedish government. Even though the work in the mine was very hard, it was considered prestigious and well-paid, and the workers had social benefits, such as health insurance. Therefore, if a person worked in the mine, stability and fulfilment of the basic needs in life were guaranteed to his family. Children also used to work in the mine, but on the ground. To work underground one needed to be at least 15-17 years old, which is actually quite young according to the standards of modern society. Another interesting fact that the guide told us was that it took a month to advance 1 meter in the mine by breaking the rocks. We passed through so many long tonnels, and it is jut amazing how much time and effort it took to create them. In the mine the temperature is around +5 all year round, and it is very wet there. That’s why before going down on a guided tour we needed to put on the rain coats and helmets. They were provided at the mine.
The copper mine stopped functioning in 1992, because it was no longer economically viable, and in 2001 it was announced a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are conversations going on about the posibility of finding other precious substances, such as gold in the mine area, but there are different opinions on whether it would be more beneficial to find the gold or to keep the mine a heritage site, which also brings a lot of benefits to Sweden. Even though the mine is not functioning anymore, there is a red paint factory, which uses copper in producing the paint. It was amazing to discover that all those lovely red houses in Sweden are directly related to the copper industry and the factory located in Falun. The paint serves not only for making the houses red, but also for preserving the wood. Red color of the houses is a very typical feature of Dalarna region in the first place, as well as of the whole Sweden.
You can see some pictures from our study trip to the copper mine by clicking on them below.