Kiruna stadsflytt – Where They Really Move Houses Posted by Transparent Language on Mar 12, 2009 in Geography
And I mean “move houses” in more ways than one. They are literally planning to move the entire city center to a new location. Historical houses will be taken apart, moved and put back together in their new locations. Some buildings will be demolished, either fully or partially, and then replaced with new, or partly new constructions at the target site.
Along with the buildings, the inhabitants of Kiruna have to move or reconstruct the sewage and water pipes, electricity supply grid, railway station and parts of the European highway E10.
And all this has to be done by 2033. So next time don’t laugh when you hear that someone in Sweden is “moving house”, OK?
Why are Kirunabor doing it? Well, they have no choice, really. Their lovely town sits on a huge iron ore mine – LKAB (incidentally also a very interesting place to visit – they have guided tours, ask at the tourist office), and as the result of the mining work, the ground is cracking and the town is sinking.
It was back in 2003 when the mine informed the city about the problem. Apparently, the cracks in the ground were spreading faster than initially believed. So, during 2004 it was decided that the town needed to be moved. In 2007 the new location was agreed on and soon after that the work began.
Of the buildings that are going to be moved, the most important ones are Kiruna kyrka (church) and stadshuset (city hall).
When I spoke to a representative from the tourist office about the logistics of such a move, she explained that the church is not a problem. It’s a wooden structure (the largest such structure in all of Sweden), so it can be easily taken apart and re-constructed elsewhere.
It’s a lovely church, by the way, the design is inspired by a Sami kåta (Sami tent) and it’s absolutely impossible to imagine Kiruna without it. The cost of moving the church? About 25 million SEK.
Stadshuset is the problem. It’s a large building, you know, your average city hall size.
So how do you move it? Apparently, there is a company in Italy that has the required technology and offered to do the work. The building will be cut into four pieces, each piece will be then transported and somehow put together at the new place. The cost of moving the city hall? Plus minus 50 million SEK.
You can read more about Kiruna stadsomvandling on the official Kiruna city webpage dedicated to the move.
So, moving house? Yep, we do that too. No problem.
Images: Wikipedia under CC agreement