Filipstad is known for its mines. For a taste of the industry, visit the mining village of Langbans Gruvby, Hyttbacken (tel. 0590/221-81), where you'll not only get to see the birthplace of the Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson but will come away with enough knowledge that you can go to work in the West Virginia coal mines. To reach this attraction, you drive 19km (12 miles) northeast of Sunne. Mining on this site was carried out from the middle of the 16th century until 1972. The Långban mines were especially known in the 19th century for producing manganese, and during the last decades of their activity, they were primary sources of dolomite. More than 300 different kinds of minerals have been found here. Långban today is a well-preserved mining village with mine holes, shaft towers, a smelting house, workmen's houses, and a manor house. (In 1803, Ericsson was born in a wing of the old managing director's residence.) The site is open from mid-June to mid-August Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday noon to 4pm, and charges 20SEK ($4/£2) admission for adults (free for those up to 16 years old).
Only miners themselves may want to explore Storbrohhyttan Hembygådsgården at Munkeberg (tel. 0590/140-28), a restored blast furnace and ironworks that have been made into a mining museum with a wealth of artifacts. On-site is a crafts center, Tullhuset, that's open Monday to Friday year-round 10am to 5pm. A well-informed guide at Tullhuset shows newcomers the blast furnace lying a few steps away. The cost of the visit is 30SEK ($6/£3).
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