Discover the industrial and rural heritage in Sweden, traditions and history
Set your own route and visit the most scenic industrial and rural heritage places in southern Sweden. Start in Småland, a region where an early industrialization has gone hand in hand with strong agriculture traditions.
These traditions you can still see and experience as more and more Swedish country side resorts are involved in working their land as to be sustainable.
The Greater Gothenburg Region
If you are starting your trip in Gothenburg and you like cars, trucks and motors, you should visit to the Volvo museum on the Island of Hisingen. The Torslanda district is host to one the principal Volvo Cars factories (Torslandaverken in Swedish).
Gothenburg is a coastal town and host an impressive industrial heritage treasure. Along the Göta River you will find the industrial harbor. All over the Gothenburg Metropolitan area you can find the old industrial buildings such as breweries, food production factories and textile factories. In modern times, many of them have been converted to office buildings or shops.
In the city centre you can visit the replica of a 18th century ship.“Götheborg” which sank outside Gothenburg in 1745. The ship was built by the 18th century Swedish East India Company, considered one of Sweden’s most successful trading companies ever.
Since the summer of 2015, the people of Gothenburg can swim in a pool located just across the river from the city center at the former old ship building industry area “Frihamnen”.
Gothenburg was and has been for a long time the commercial and trading hub for many south western Swedish communities. An important trade took place with the herring. The fish was historically been one of the most essential basic foods, in Sweden and beyond. Along the Bohuslän coast locations such as Marstrand and Klädesholmen were an important hubs for the trade and herring industries.
The Sweden´s three golden periods of herring fishing are in medieval times, between 1747-1809 in the county of Bohuslän on Sweden’s west coast and the final period was 1877-1899.
In Gothenburg you can visit fish market Feskekörka (‘fish church’ in Swedish) is 145-years old indoor fish and shellfish market place. Here you can buy fish and seafood delicacies caught the same day.
Industries in smaller towns in South Sweden
Close to Gothenburg, in the textile town of Borås, visit the Textile Museum in order to explore the textile and fashion industry in Sweden.
While in Jönköping you can visit the museum of Huskvarna and learn about the history of their production of guns, motorcycles, chain saws and sawing machines. Also, check out the Industrial Museum in Norrahammar featuring the industrial development of the towns in the Jönköping area.
Not far away from Jönköping in the vicinity of Gnosjö you will find several interesting industrial museums. In addition, visit the Store Mosse, national park and Isaberg´s mountain resort, if you and your family likes MTB. Otherwise, spend a day at the western inspired amusement park High Chaparral. Stay a day or two more in Småland, visit one of the arts & craft workshops and exhibitions in the town of Bodafors.
Continue your visit to the of lake Vättern travelling westbound to Forsvik and visit the museum of Forsvik Bruk with 600 years of industrial history.
Crystal and small industrial rural villages
Cycle or trek in the Crystal village Målerås, in the midst of the glass production region. As well as, visit a crystal factory with a shop and a museum. You can try and blow your own crystal bowl there. Park at Målerås Vandrarhem, where they receive overnight motorhome parking guests. In Målerås you can also visit a family business manufacturing genuine leather crafts. Buy their leather products made from hides of moose, yoke and ox. You can also experience the manufacturing on site.
In “Glasriket – the Kingdom of Crystal” you can visit several glassworks and glass-related industries and workshop. One is in Boda. Here you can visit an interactive museum and a culture center, The Glass Factory.
Close by you will find Ödevata Countryside Hotel. It is a farm and fishing resort located in a stunning environment. In the past it has been a correctional facility ran by the Swedish Prison and Probation Service. It is a stark contrast to the outstanding recreational area it has become under the current owner today. They receive motorhomes for scenic overnight parking.
Eksjö, Hjo and Nora are three towns with an interesting history and the centers or ”old towns” made up of wooden buildings, which were constructed by skilled craftsmen.
On the very southern tip of Sweden you will find the Naval City of Karlskrona, a city full of military history. In 1998, Karlskrona was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Check out the guide company Kulturkompaniet, including an introduction to the Swedish naval and cold war history.
Then head towards the center of Sweden. Go through Götakanal, connecting Vänern with the Baltic sea, a construction project that started in 1810 and took 22 years to complete. Ultimately, your destination is Rättvik. Götakanal is also great for cycling with great Swedish Fika stops along the way.
Dalsland Canal ties together natural watercourses from Lake Vänern into Norway. Today it is a tourist destination and heritage site of national interest.
Lastly, visit Dalhalla, an amphitheater located in a former limestone quarry. In the village of Furudal you will find Furudalsbruk, an old-time forge with a long history of design and industrial production going as far back as the 18th century. Also, visit the old-time summer grazing farms (Fäbodvall), towns and villages keeping traditions, festivities and family run farms alive. Go trekking on the ”Fäbodvall” of Ärteråsen in Furudal or Karl Tövåsens levande Fäbod & Gårdsmejeri.