Falun is the administrative centre of the Dalarna province in Sweden. It’s the largest town in the area with about 40,000 inhabitants, slightly more than its close neighbour and friendly rival Borlänge.
- See also: mining tourism
Falun was built around the old copper mine, which was operational as early as the 11th century. The mine was an important resource during the years of the Swedish Empire and made Falun Sweden’s second largest city around mid-17th century.
The mine was depleted by the beginning of the 1990s, and now it has become a tourist attraction and made it to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Stora Kopparberg (now Stora Enso), the mining company, is still active, although nowadays in the forest industry. It claims to be the world’s oldest company, having supposedly existed more than a millennium.
The Dalarna province is by many considered to be the very essence of Sweden, with Dala Horses (see below) and traditional midsummer festivities. Falun has made some contributions to the Swedish heritage as well. Prime examples, and memories of the mining, are Falu Red Paint (Falu rödfärg) and the Falu Sausage (Falukorv). The red colour of the copper was used to make a brownish red paint that has become hugely popular in Sweden. The archetypal image of idyllic Sweden seems to somehow always include a Falu red wooden cottage with white corners. The Falu sausage, thick and ring-shaped, is one of few food products protected by the EU through a “certificate of special character” which states what ingredients must be in a Falu Sausage. The sausage was originally made by meat from the thousands of oxen whose hides were used to make ropes for the copper mine. Today, pork as well as beef is used in the sausages.
- 1 Falun Tourist Centre, Trotzgatan 10–12, ☎+46 480-41 77 00, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 10:00–17:00. Sa 10:00–13.00. (updated Sep 2017)