Stora Kopparberget

Falu gruva - Great Copper Mountain - Falun Copper Mine - Tiskasjöberg

Useful Information

Location: Gruvplatsen 1, 791 61 Falun.
(60.600172, 15.616372)
Open: Visitor center:
OCT to APR Tue-Fri 11-16, Sat, Sun 10-15.
MAY Tue-Fri 10-16, Sat, Sun 10-15.
JUN to mid-JUN daily 10-16.
Mid-JUN to mid-AUG daily 9:30-17:30.
Mid-AUG to SEP daily 10-16.
Mining Museum:
OCT to MAY Sat, Sun 10-15.
JUN to mid-JUN daily 10-16.
Mid-JUN to mid-AUG daily 10-17:30.
Mid-AUG to SEP daily 10-16.
Closed 01-JAN, 21-JUN, 24-DEC, 25-DEC, 31-DEC.
Fee: Underground: Adults SEK 260, Children (3-15) SEK 120, Students SEP 220, Seniors SEK 220, Families (2+2) SEK 670.
Above ground: Adults SEK 120, Children (3-15) SEK 70, Families (2+2) SEK 340.
Classification: MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=5 °C.
Guided tours: L=750 m, VR=67 m, D=1 h, St=400, MinAge=3. V=250,000/a
Accessibility: no
Address: Stora Kopparberget, Falu Gruva, Gruvplatsen 1, 79161 Falun, Tel: +46-23-782030, Fax: +46-23-782643. E-mail:
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.


700 start of mining, according to legend.
1100 oldest radiocarbon dated archaeological remains.
1288 first written mention, mining operations had attained considerable proportions.
1347 patent letter for the Copper Mountain issued by King Magnus Eriksson.
17th/18th century the world's largest copper mine.
1677 Fat Mats Israelsson killed in a slide.
22-JUN-1687 a devastating landslide, greatest cave-in in the mine’s history, formed Stora Stöten.
1719 Fat Mats Israelsson found well preserved.
1725 Vintjärn's mining field discovered by Olov Andersson.
1731 Stora Kopparberg acquired two shares of Vintjärn.
1922 Gruvmuseet (Mining Museum) opened to the public.
1937 Stora Kopparberg became the only owner of Vintjärn.
1964-66 old buildings at the edge of the "Great Pit" moved about 100 m from the mine.
1979 mining at Vintjärn ended.
1992 mining at Stora Kopparberget.
2001 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Kupfermine Katharineberg in Schweden (copper mine Katharineberg in Sweden). Historic engraving from a German enzyclopedia named Meyers Universum, published by Carl Joseph Meyer. By nn in ca 1850, 15x10 cm.

Stora Kopparberget (Great Copper Mountain) is the name of an area of great geologic, historic and economic interest. It is even inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The mine itself is called Falu Gruva (Falun Copper Mine) and located at the village Falun. The open-cast called the Great Pit is 95 m deep, 400 m long and 350 m wide. The underground mine has a main shaft which is 450 m deep and an exploratory level 150 m deeper.

The Falun Copper Mine was a mine of superlatives. It was the world's largest copper mine during the 17th and 18th century. At times, the mine produced almost two-thirds of the total world output of copper. It was also Sweden's largest gold mine and silver mine, only rivaled by MineSala Silvergruva in the last point. Linnaeus, the great Swedish botanist visited the mine and described it as "The greatest marvel in Sweden but as terrible as hell itself". A hell for more than 1,200 miners working by hand to mine the ore under dangerous and unhealthy conditions. Deaths because of collapses or simply falling rocks were common. Only few miners from that time are known by name, but one became legendary, named Fat Mats Israelsson. He was killed in a mining accident in 1677.

In 1725 a new mining field was discovered ba Olov Andersson named Vintjärn. This mine was active for 250 years and mainly produced iron ore with a high content of silver.

The greatest cave-in in the mine’s history happened on Midsummer’s Day 1687. Three open pits and their dividing “walls” collapsed, forming Stora Stöten (the Great Pit). The occurrence became known in Sweden and throughout Europe for the fact that no single miner had lost his life. Midsummer Eve is an important festival, and Midsummer’s Day is a traditional Swedish holiday. All miners were off work on this day, which is really enormous luck.

The underground show mine shows impressive parts of the mine with drifts, shafts and pits. The normal tour shows the Creutz shaft with the highest wooden construction in the world. It divides the 200 m deep shaft from the surface to the bottom into two parts. The tour shows mostly the 55 m level, with historic working tools, ladders and stairways. There are also dramatized shows and tours for children. At the surface at the rim of the huge open cast mine Stora Stöten (Great Open Pit) is a sort of open air museum. Mining buildings include wheelhouses, headframes and pivots.

The Gruvmuseet (Mining Museum) has collections of historic documents and pictures and a collection of fantastic models. It is located in the former Mine Office, which was erected between 1771 and 1785, after plans by Tobias Geisler, a mine surveyor. Originally used as the administrative building of Stora Kopparbergs Bergslag, the administration of the Company was transferred to the town centre in the early 19th century. The building was abandoned and fell into disrepair until it was restored to house the museum in 1922. In the early 1960s the building was damaged due to subsidence, caused by the huge open-cast. Between 1964 and 1966 several old buildings were moved about 100 m away from the edge of the open cast. Unfortunately the museum building was already damaged and was replaced by a reconstruction embodying important parts of the old building, the roof, bell-tower, doors and parts of the furnishings. The building has 20 rooms, 16 are open for the public.