Go underground in Sweden and experience world-unique installations from war-time hangars and silver mines to contemporary art beneath a modern-day city to a mysterious underground church. Find out more about these four Swedish underground attractions.
The secret airbase in Gothenburg
Hidden near Gothenburg City’s Airport is a vast underground airbase, built in the start of the Cold War, extending over 22,000 square meters. The above-ground area covers 70,000 square meters.
Once top secret, the site has been transformed into an interactive aviation museum, complete with simulators, a coffee shop and planes kids can scramble on.
Since January 1st 2008, Aeroseum has been part of the SMHA (Sveriges Militärhistoriska Arv – Swedish Military Heritage) network, under the umbrella of Statens Försvarshistoriska Museum (SFHM – The National Swedish Museums of Military History).
Today, the Aeroseum offers experiences that have not previously been available to the general public, including flying in vintage aircraft and helicopters.
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A room without a view at Sala
The old silver mine at Sala, 120km north-west of Stockholm has a suite hidden 155m beneath the surface. In the 1500s, King Gustav Vasa used to call the Sala Silver Mine “Sweden’s Treasure Chest.” Today, the mine is still a treasure chest—filled with history and adventures, above and below ground.
Temperatures in the tunnels hover just above freezing but the “mine suite”, said to be the world’s deepest hotel room in which you may be served a soup, is kept at a relatively balmy 18 degrees.
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The underground church in Västerbotten
Working deep beneath Västerbotten County in 1946, the miner Johan Olofsson discovered a 2m-high image on one of the walls resembling Christ – apparently caused by detonations in the mine.
The news spread like wildfire and Norra Västerbotten published the picture in the newspaper. People flocked to Kristinebergsvägen to get down to the 120-meter level and climb 13 meters up on a vertical iron ladder to admire the figure.
The space was eventually filled in and the life in this small community continued and so did the mine. Until in year 1968 when a marble slab from the Co-op in Kristineberg was reversed and a dark image of Christ on a white background appeared. Christ had apparently appeared a second time.
In 1986, the ecumenical underground church of St. Anna was built 90m below ground in Kristineberg, close to the original spot. It’s still open for worship complete with a replica of the Jesus-like image.
Stockholm’s Metro Art Gallery
Travelling by subway in Stockholm is like being in a personal, mobile art gallery. It has often been described as ”the world’s longest art museum”. For the price of a Metro ticket, you can enjoy impressive works spanning from the 1950s to the 2000s.
The Stockholm metro has more than one hundred stations, and at least ninety of them have elaborate art installations as part of their status quo decor. It evokes feelings of being part of a modern-day archeological expedition, full of undiscovered secrets and surprises.
Four Swedish Underground Attractions, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): The Metro in Stockholm. Photo: Visit Stockholm