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Advent calendar 2020 – 20: Kiruna, the city to be relocated

Advent calendar 2020 - 20: Kiruna

Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden, is about to be relocated. This is because of the large mine adjacent to the city that would harm the city’s geological stability.

The iron mine is important for the city’s economy, the ore from which is shipped by train to nearby Narvik, Norway and sold worldwide.

The main part of the city centre will be demolished in 2022 and businesses moved to the new downtown to the east, near the airport. Surrounding areas will be demolished in phases until 2027.

The mining company LKAB finances this relocation in coordination with the municipality.

Kiruna, called Giron in the local Sami dialect, is traditionally part of the lands of the Sami (called Sápmi), but has seen major influx of Swedes from elsewhere in Sweden since the development of mining in the area.

Stockholm to Kiruna takes 15 hours by night train, or 1.5 hours by plane.