Kiruna was founded around 1900 as a mining town, and the iron ore mine, which is said to be the biggest underground mine in the world, is still the most important industry in the city. The mine is operated by LKAB.
interesting from the railfan`s point of view. The railroad line
to Narvik/Norway was built around 1900 together with the city,
and ore trains as well as passenger trains operate between Kiruna
Several research institutes were established in Kiruna, and they are of growing importance. Esrange for instance is an european institution for launching of atmospheric research rockets. A bus tour is offered for tourists, and we took part some years ago. However, in my opinion, the guided tour in Esrange itself could have been a bit more interesting.
Most of the 20,000 square kilometers of the municipal area are wilderness, and that is the reason why we and many other tourists visit the town. Kiruna has a bus station, a railroad station and an airport. If you have time for sightseeing, you can for instance do the mine tour, can visit Esrange, visit Jukkasjärvi village with a historic church and a well-known igloo in wintertime. Kiruna is good for shopping, look especially for saami handicraft.
In the skyline of Kiruna as seen from the E10 street, especially the town hall and the church are prominent. The town hall with its tower can be seen at the left side of the picture.
On a summer weekend at 9 p.m. the city may look completely empty. But this can change greatly until 11 pm. If you are tough enough it is nice to spend a night in a pub with life music. We did it once until 2.00 a.m. in the Radhusbyn Ripan" at the camping place. Coming home, we were astonished to see that a long queue of taxis in front of the Ferrum hotel was still busy to bring the visitors home from the disco night.
Kiruna was the starting point for many tours on the hiking trails in Lappland in different years, and before returning home we often relaxed here after the tour. Although it is an industrial town, we liked the atmosphere better from year to year.
Informations on Kiruna are available on www.kiruna.se. You can find links to the research institutes and to companies in Kiruna. The mining company LKAB has a server with information (www.lkab.se). The Information Society (www.is.kiruna.se) is an association similar to ours in Giessen (www.lahn.de).