Foto: Jessica Nildén

Tips to experience the city transformation

For over 100 years iron ore mining has taken place in Kiruna without significantly affecting the central parts of the city. In 2004 that streak came to an end. The mining company LKAB presented a forecast of how cracks will reach the present city center. It was the starting point for the city transformation.

Mining is the base in Kiruna’s business and therefore Kiruna Municipality is prepared to move parts of the city. In order for LKAB to continue mining the iron ore, until the year 2035, everything above the mine must be moved to safety. Everything. The city transformation is a major and complex process that will last for many years. Below are tips on how to learn more and experience the city transformation.

City transformation information center
In the center of Kiruna, a stone’s throw from the tourist center, is the new information center for the city transformation. Here you have a nice scale model over Kiruna city that you shouldn’t miss. A great start for everyone who is curious about the unique transformation that’s currently happening in Kiruna.

Visit: Monday-Friday 10.00-15.00. Free entry.

Mine City Park
No-one should need to live next door to an industrial mining area. The Mine City Parks are a collaboration between LKAB and Kiruna municipality and represent a gentle transition between mine and city. The transformation from residential area to park area and finally industrial mining area will take place gradually. In the park there are some historical photos from Kiruna that are interesting to see. In the park you also have a playground, outdoor gym and a small ice-skating area in the winter. In addition, there are benches, barbecue area and wood storage. In summer you can also meet the sheep and buy Swedish fika.

Kiruna city hall/new city center
The new city center in Kiruna is being built about three kilometers east of the current one. The new city hall called ”Kristallen” (the Crystal) is the first building in the new city center and the first block is now under construction. The city hall also houses the County Art Museum which will open its doors on November 22.

Visit: Monday-Friday 08.00-17.00. Free entry.

The new city hall, the Crystal, photo: Jessica Nildén

Kiruna church
Kiruna Church is perhaps the town’s most characteristic building; it was completed in 1912 as a gift from LKAB to the parish. Regarding the church the question was never if it should be moved but rather how it should be moved. It will be relocated to a place next to the cemetary in connection with the new city center. The move is estimated to take place around year 2025-2026. The church park is a part of the enviroment around the church where the first manager of LKAB and the founder of Kiruna, Hjalmar Lundbohm, is buried.

Visit: Monday-Sunday 10.00-15.30, (09.00-17.45 summer). Free entry.

Cultural walk
Take a stroll through the city center and have a look at some of Kirunas unique buildings and artwork. Everything you see will be affected by the city transformation. Most building on this walk will be demolished so take this opportunity to check them out before they are gone. The map for the walk kan be found online here or you can pick up a copy at the tourist center.

Luossavaara mountain
Visit the local city mountain where you get an amazing view over the city, the mountains and the ongoing city transformation. Se the new road E-10 being built, where the new city center is located and the new cultural area thats is at the foot of the mountatin to where several buildings have been moved. One of the buildings which was relocated to this new area is the home of Kirunas founder Hjalmar Lundbohm.

Guided tours
The most complete information on the city transformation you will get by joining a guided city tour. The tour is done by minibus and can be booked through Kiruna Storytelling or North Sweden Tourism. Combine your city tour with a tour to LKAB:s Visitor Centre where you will get information about the mining and how it can cause a whole city to be moved.

Read all about the city transformation at LKABs website & Kiruna municipality website.

With reservation for changes.