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Photographer's Note

Before going on with more detail pictures from the old mining industry I like to give you an overview. This is the classical view of Falun taken from the upper side of the mine area. In the lower part you see a part of the the open pit tha was formed from a cave in 1687. The rock had then been caved out to an extent where it just couldn´t take it anymore.

The yellow building is today a mueum. It used to be an administrative building for the mine. In the valley behind is the central parts of this small town hidden, Falun has just about 37000 citizens. On the hill in the background is a skijump which is the modern landmark for Falun. The little town has in modern times made itself a centre in Sweden for championships in cross country skiing and skijumping.

The mine calls itself the oldest share holding company in the world. It was organized as a cooperative of landowners in the region and paperwork on the split of ownership dates back some 700 years. The mine was in its hayday the biggest copper mine in “the known world” and gave Sweden the finances to go into war with the rest of Europe. As my old history teacher put it: "- You need three things to go to war, money, money and money".

A few years ago the mining area was made a World Heritage site. I find that a bit ironic since the reason that the area looks the way it does is that this is one of the oldest man made environmental disasters in the world. There are descriptions from the 18th century how daylight never reached through the black smoke from the melting. And around the mine there is still areas where nothing grows on the ground.

For more information click the links “The mining area”, “The town of Falun” and “History” on the mine museums homepage:

http://www.visitfalun.se/varldsarvet/eng/index.htm

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Additional Photos by Ebbe Rozel (Ebbe) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2539 W: 732 N: 1910] (9625)
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