Stollbergs gruvområde - f d Väster SilfbergAddress: Väster Silfberg Smedjebacken Show map
Address: Väster Silfberg Smedjebacken
Mining area in high location with very old history. Ore has been mined here since the 12th century. Dramatic area with a deep gaping pit and interesting geology.
NOTE - Due to the increased risk of collapse is " gruvbacken " the area east of the existing mines closed until further notice. This applies also to visit the observation tower and the rest area.
The Stollberg mine (Wäster Silfberg) stretches for five miles, from Shisshyttan in the north to Silfhyttan in the south. The mine is mentioned in the Royal Charter proclaimed by King Magnus Eriksson in 1354 for the homesteaders in Norberg, and the same rights were extended to the smelting-house owners in Silferberget.
The mining of silver by the Crown started in 1552 at the still mighty Biskopsberget open-cast mine at Stollberget. Even though iron production was the most important activity, priority was nonetheless given to silver. In the 17th century, the running of the mine was leased to a number of noblemen, who invested in new mining equipment and facilities. Russian prisoners of war were made to work in the mines by Count Jacob de la Gardie, who forced them to live in atrocious conditions in cave holes and dugouts. These men gave their names to the Russian cemetery in the area.
Silver-mining was abandoned in 1754 after the take-over of the mines by Jenning & Finlay, a company which concentrated production on ironmaking. At the end of the 19th century, the mining of lead and zinc ore was instituted, followed in 1918 by limonite ore.
Looking down into the Biskopsberget open-cast mine, which is situated at the top of the hill, is like looking into the "doors of hell", as someone once said. The opening is so dark that it is almost impossible to see the bottom. In recent times, the friends of the Väster Silvberg mine, as it is named today, have built a lookout tower in the design of a pithead, and the panoramic view enables visitors to see for miles, as far as Smedjebacken and Ludvika.
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