Kleva gruva

Useful Information

Location: Kleva Gruva 1, 570 15 Holsbybrunn.
10 km from Vetlanda in the middle of a forest on Kleva mountain. Route 47 between Vetlanda and Målilla, 7 km east of Vetlanda, at Sjunnen, turn off to Holsbybrunn, from here single lane gravel roads, well signposted.
(57.457571, 15.259134)
Open: 21-MAY to 19-JUN Sat, Sun 11-16.
25-JUN to 07-AUG daily 11-17.
08-AUG to 04-SEP daily 11-16.
10-SEP to 02-OCT Sat, Sun 11-16.
12-OCT to 20-OCT Wed, Thu 11-14.
Fee: Adults SEK 180, Children (13-16) SEK 140, Children (3-12) SEK 100, Students SEK 140, Seniors SEK 140.
Classification: MineCopper Mine MineNickel Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=6,000 m, T=1-3 °C.
Guided tours: self guided, L=2,000 m.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Kleva gruva, Kleva Gruva 1, 570 15 Holsbybrunn, Tel: +46-383-54033, Tel: +46-760-198867. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1691 a poor bell ringer from Skede stumbled across a rock containing some fragments that glittered like gold.
1692 mining company founded.
1694 smelter erected at the mill in Gyaån near Ädelfors.
1696 first copper produced.
1824 acquired by mining councilor Johan Lorentz Aschan.
1828 Aschanstollen completed.
1838 nickel discovered in ore sample.
1845 begin of nickel mining.
1876/77 largest amount of ore extracted.
1920 mine finally closed.
1991 Kleva Gruva opened as a show mine by the municipality of Vetlanda.
1995 operated by the Berggren family, who added picnic and barbecue areas.
MAY-2009 mine operated by Henryk Hörner together with his partner.


The story of Kleva Gruva starts, according to legend, with a poor bell ringer from Skede who went on a walk on Kleva mountain in 1691. He stumbled on a rock, containing some fragments that glittered like gold. His name is not known, and neither if he got any reward for his discovery. The examination revealed, that there actually was gold, but not enough to warrant a mining operation. But there also was a high copper content and so a mining company was founded which opened a copper mine. Only a few years later mining started, and the mine was named after the mountain where it is located. In the early days the profitability was not very high, and so the mine changed hands several times and was also closed. As it filled with water it had to be pumped out when it was reopened.

The important change was a coincidence of two events. First mining councilor Johan Lorentz Aschan acquired the pit in 1824. It had been abandoned for 50 years and was full of water. But from old maps of the mine he kow they had started an adit, a drainage tunnel, from inside before the mine was closed. He now tried to finish this tunnel from the outside, to drain the large pit. The difficult project was successfully completed in 1828 and the Aschan tunnel now drained the mine without pumping.

But still the copper was of poor quality and the mine not profitable. Thus, in 1838, Aschan had the mine re-examined by the famous Jöns Jakob Berzelius. He discovered the high nickel content, a metal which was still unknown when the ore was examined the last time, probably it was even responsible for the poor quality of the copper. But as technology had developed the high nickel content of the ore became important. Nickel was a coveted raw material for the production of German silver alloys and was exported to Germany. The mine was now successfully operating as a nickel mine and had its heyday around 1876. Soon after higher quality nickel deposits were discovered in New Caledonia, the price of nickel plummeted. Nevertheless, the mining continued on a low scale until the mine was finally closed after World War I. During World War II the slag heaps were reworked, as the Medieval extraction had left much valuable ore.

The development as a show mine was carried out by the municipality of Vetlanda. They carried out extensive safety measures while keeping the conditions inside the mine as authentic as possible. They opened the mine as a show mine in 1991 and operated it until 1995. The Berggren family then operated the show mine and added picnic and barbecue areas. Since MAY-2009 the mine is operated by Henryk Hörner together with his partner.

Kleva Gruva is visited self-guided, which is not very difficult as it is well developed with trails and electric light. Torches and helmets are provided, but you can also bring your own helmets, e.g. bike helmets. It's also possible to rent gum boots if you have no suitable shoes, trekking shoes or walking shoes are recommended, also warm clothes as the mine is very cold. The mine is entered through the 270 m long Aschan tunnel. The visitor center offers information on the mine, rents equipment, sells food and drink, and also offers free firewood for the barbeque area. There is also gold panning for children. For groups adventure challenges, night walk through the mine, and overnight stay in a bivouac are offered.

The Gruvstuga, the main building of the mine, contains the small visitor center, ticket office, and a mining exhibition with tools and equipment of the mine. There are also historic photos and documents. The museum is open for free during the open hours.

The mine is a habitat for a large number of bats that hibernate in the mine during winter. Because of this the mine is listed as a protected natural area and is closed between October and April each year. The mine is an open pit and thus a cold trap, every winter massive ice forms inside the mine. That's also the reason why the mine is so cold. However, as the mine is closed due to bat protection, the ice forms and melts unseen.