The sixteenth century
The silver in Sala was probably discovered at the end of the fifteenth century. In 1512 Sten Sture the Younger issued the first charter for Sala Silver Mine. The mine`s flourishing decades in the 1530s and the 1540s are coincident to Sweden`s initial period as an independent country. The silver mine at most produced 4 000 kilos of silver a year. (The king Gustav Wasa produced in all approx. 6 500 kilos of silver from the Church). Silver was a desireable metal for the increasingly important monetary system. The discovery of silver in Sala brought a revolution to every-day life in the district. Lots of people came to the mine, hoping to make their future. The mine belonged to the crown, Gustav Wasa was personally active in improving the mining, occasionally he stayed at the mine. It is presumed that at least 2 000 people lived in the mining village, in comparison, Stockholm at that time had about 8 000 inhabitants.
The seventeenth century
In 1624 Sala town was founded, situated about two kilometres from the mine. The mining village was abandoned. Important changes in the mining took place during this period. Several New shafts were opened and deepened. In the 1650s Queen Christina`s shaft was excavated down to large deposits. This started a boom for the silver mine. The house tower from 1858 is today the symbol of the Sala silver Mine and is a part of the profile describing Sala Community - now an ecological community.
The eighteenth century
On the 90- and 120-metre levels, halfway to the large ore deposits, rich findings were exploited. Silver was still an important metal for coins.
The nineteenth century
In the 1830s Charles XI`s shaft was lowered to its present 318 metres; the mine`s deepest shaft. As the last mine in the country Sala silver mine quit the "tillmakning" method - i.e. to weaken the bedrock by means of woodfires. The work at the silver mine was closed in 1908.
Sala's Silver Mine has played an important part in the history of Swedish economics. The mine is best seen by participating in a guided tour, even the film about the mine and a visit to the museum is something to recommend. A highly classed resturant/cafe can be found in the middle of the mining area, aswell as a children's playground. Guided tour tickets and souvenirs are on sale at the reception. You are welcome to contact the reception for more information.
There are different kinds of guided tours:
The 60 meter level
The stairway is taken to a level of 60 meters where you see parts of the gallery system. The stairway is taken back up again. The tour lasts approx. 60 minutes. The cost is 75 SEK for adults, 40 SEK för children (7-16 years). Maximum 15 persons each group.
Three shaft walk
This is the newest and most exiting alternative. Beginning with The Kingsway and then continuing to the shaft of Karl XI (the deepest shaft of the mine), where there will be a short break for refreshments, afterwards the elevator takes us to ground level. A silver souvenir is included in the price. The tour is demaning and lasts about two houres. The cost is 250 SEK for adults, 125 SEK for children (7-16 years). Max. 8 persons, minimum 3 persons each group.
Guided tours of the mining area are also advailable. A film and a visit to the mining museum are also included in the price mentioned. Reduced prices for students, retaired, families and groups of 20 people or more are also advailable on request. Boots and torches to borrow are advailable but you can certainly bring your own.
The Ulrica Mine - 155 m
Our newest level, located at the water level down in the mine. Powerful experiences straight down under ground.
Time: 1,5 hours.
Times and Prices
Important to know:
A Guided Tour in the Mine can take between 30 Minutes and 2 Hours depending on the Tour alternative chosen. Down in the Mine we make our way, using the stairways through old Mine tunnels.
On the Children’s Mine Adventure the stairs are used to come up to the surface.
On other Tours the ride to the surface Level is by the Mine’s Lift.
The temperature in the Mine is approximately +5 C all year round; it is also fairly damp and a little dirty. We, therefore, recommend warm suitable clothing. Participants use the waterproof capes and Wellington boots provided by the Mine.
60-meter tour Adult 100 SEK Children 50 SEK
Ulricamine 155 m Adult 200 SEK Children 100 SEK
Three shaft tour Adult 300 SEK Children 150 SEK (Book in advance)
Tour above ground Adult 80 SEK Children 40 SEK (Book in advance)
Big tour Adult 400 SEK Children 200 SEK (Book in advance)
Children’s Mine Adventure Adult 50 SEK Children 75 SEK
For more information:
Sala Silvergruva AB
Dr. Christinas Väg
733 36 SALA
Fax 0224 19548
Saturdays and Sundays 12-4p.m (during winter season). Other times after booking.
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