Copper works, here copper has been produced since the Middle Ages.
Self-guided tour. Well signposted.
Walking-paths along the rapids.
Old farm with animals: sheep, ducks, hens, rabbits. Tourist office +46 (0)450 45.
Information: Skinnskatteberg tourism.
Copper has been mined at Riddarhyttan since the Middle Ages, and the bare slag heaps serve as a reminder today. The slag from the copper ore turns the soil sterile, which is why nothing grows here. Work on building the existing copper mine, just south of lake Skärskön, started in 1804 and the copper mine was taken into service by the Riddarhytte works in 1819. The ore was mined at Östergruvan on the far side of the lake. An elaborate system of dams, waterfalls and underground passages was created downstream of the lake, making good use of the water power.
Here can be seen an old storehouse for copper, an impressive stone building from 1819. Also in evidence is the timber-built panelled home of a works manager, and the remains of roasting furnaces and an old waterpipe that runs down to the hydroelectric power station. The output of copper in the 1830s was approximately 70 tonnes a year, and some of the untreated copper produced went to the mint at Avesta to make coins. Unfortunately, because of the low concentration of copper in the ore, the days of prosperity were numbered, and the copperworks was shut down in 1873. A well-signposted walk runs round the site.
In 2005, the copperworks was handed over to the Riddarhytten Viking (Tuhundra Naemdimpe) heritage association, which is now responsible for the management and maintenance of the site. A number of activities and events are being planned there.