advertisement

The best way to see Røros is to take a guided walk through the Old Town starting at the local tourist office . In summer, tours leave several times daily, costing NOK60 ($12/£6); free for children. In the off season, only Saturday tours are conducted.

In town you can also visit Røros Kirke, Kjerkgata (no phone), which dates from 1650. It was established to cater to the workers in the smelting works. More than a century later, it was substantially rebuilt in the baroque style, seating 1,600 worshippers, an amazingly large congregation for a town of this size. It is an eight-sided stone structure with a pulpit sitting over the altarpiece. Admission is free, and it is open June 21 to August 15 Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 2 to 4pm.

Røros offers several other attractions, including Røros Museum-Smelthytta, Malmplassen (tel. 72-40-61-70), site of the first smelting works in the area, dating from 1646. A model exhibition here illustrates old mining and smelting technology, including ore hoists, waterwheels, horse-drawn winches, and furnaces. One section displays regional costumes from the 1800s. The building is a reconstruction of the original structure, which burned in a fire in 1953. Admission is NOK60 ($12/£6) for adults or NOK30 ($6/£3) for children under 15. It's open mid-June to August daily 10am to 7pm; in other months, it's open Tuesday to Friday 11am to 3pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 2pm.

For us, a highlight of a visit to Røros is a side trip to Olavsgruva, or Olav's Mine, Kojedalen (tel. 72-40-61-70), lying 9.5km (6 miles) east of Røros. A guided tour will take you through 3 centuries of mining. The system here consists of two mines, Nyberget and Crown Prince Olav's mine. Nyberget is by far the oldest, as Prince Olav mine was begun only in 1936. The tour on foot takes you 50m (164 ft.) below the surface of the earth and 500m (1,640 ft.) into the cavern, where miners of yore toiled in miserable conditions. The temperature is about 41°F (5°C) all year. Sound-and-light effects help re-create the mood of the old mines. Mine tours cost NOK80 ($16/£8) for adults and free for children under 15. Tours are conducted five times daily from June 1 to mid-August, and two times daily from mid-August to September. In the off season, tours are conducted only on Saturday. If you're driving, follow the signs along Rte. 31 to the mines northeast from the center of Røros. Otherwise, a round-trip by taxi will cost NOK400 ($80/£40).

Johan Falkberget Museum (tel. 72-41-46-31) honors the area's favorite son. The author (1879-1967) was reared at Trondalen Farm in the Rugel Valley outside Røros. Translated into 20 languages, he became a famous author around the world, his most celebrated book being An-Magrit, which was made into a 1969 film starring Liv Ullmann. It tells of a peasant girl who transported copper ore in the Røros mines. Falkberget's early poverty and toil in the mines colored all his works. The trilogies Christianus Sextus (1927-35) and Bread of Night (1940-59) concern mining life in the 17th and 18th centuries. They emphasize the virtues of hard work and Christian love. The Falkberget museum lies beside Lake Rugelsjø. Admission is NOK60 ($12/£6) for adults and NOK30 ($6/£3) for children. Tours are July 1 to August 5 daily at noon, 1, and 2pm. From August 6 to 12, tours are daily at noon. Local trains from Røros will take you to Rugeldalen Station, lying 20km (12 miles) north of Røros. You can take a signposted track leading up to the museum. Except for the Røros Museum, all tours for local attractions must be arranged through the tourist office.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.