On the slag heap

As you know, I was in Roros, Norway, last week.

Roros is an old copper mining town so it is dominated by slag heaps (a by-product of copper smelting).

The slag heaps are like small mountains – just going to show how much activity there was here during the 333 years the copper works were open.

If you climb up the slag heaps, you get a great view of the ancient timber town –

And of the other feature that dominates the landscape: the stone church.

Looking the other way, you can see the farms and the mountains –

And yes, there was snow on them even in June.

What moved me most was Sleggveien street: a street with tiny tiny houses,

They must have been about half the size of a normal house,

Where travellers and casual labourers lived and worked.

The old wooden houses must have been very cold in the winter.

They look so poor (and picturesque) as they stand there squeezed right up to the slag heaps.

(Not far to walk though for your ten-hour shift in the mine.)

And oh – those wonderful turf roofs! Some had wildflowers and even small trees growing on them.

I’m away filming in the south of Sweden, so please excuse me if I don’t get around to all your blogs. THANK YOU so much for your visit!

For more great places, please visit: Our World.

112 thoughts on “On the slag heap

  1. Hi Fiona, What an interesting old city/town. Isn’t it fun to visit old towns like this —and learn all about the history? It reminded me a little of some of the little coal mining towns (called coal camps) in Southwest VA where I grew up… There was a group of tiny homes all in a row —lived in by coal miners…

    Have fun doing your filming.


  2. It’s like stepping back in time! And what a picturesque place! Your photos are terrific as always and do give such a sense of history and reality! Hope your trip is going well, Fiona! Take care!


  3. nice…some really cool pics of the town and houses…i like the look back across town too…the difference in all the life and green beyond the barren slag piles


  4. Once again your photography makes me feel the environment. The cold, the wetness of the soil, the hard working people who lived there and the loneliness of a deserted community. have a great time filming.


  5. Yes, certainly very interesting and beautiful photos. It must have been hard to live in those houses and work in the mine. Greetings.


  6. It’s easy to see why you like this town. The setting is magnificent, and those old houses (as well as your photos of them) are beautiful. I, too, like those turf roofs.


  7. Such a wonderful place of interest. Those turf roofs are quite something. I wonder what kind of memories echo from those walls.


  8. Helt underbara bilder från en otroligt vacker natur. Jag måste erkänna att jag aldrig varit så långt norrut. Egentligen borde jag göra något åt det….
    Önskar dig en riktigt skön Midsommar!


  9. What a cool old town – great shots. We have slag heaps here in Colorado too but they’re usually dwarfed by the mountains.


  10. Oh, such stunning images, they look just like theater settings.;) Do you get to experience the light of the white nights I wonder.;))


  11. What a unique little place! Can you just imagine the daily life there! You must have had a great time (and I see you did) photographing this old town.


  12. Love the rich colours in that first shot and the blend of textures. A fascinating glimpse of times past and respect for those who endured the hardships. Thanks for sharing this part of the world and for visiting my blog. Happy filming!


  13. Ughhhhhhhh I want to travel to all the places you go. I’m always telling people that I would be very happy living in a quiet, history-rich village somewhere in the country of some cold country, but they don’t believe me. Someday though, someday.


  14. Such a fascinating post! I’ve not been to many copper mining towns so this is brand-new to me! Thanks for sharing and I guess I’ll have to pen this somewhere in my “to-go” list 🙂 Enjoy!


  15. Those houses are so cute and beautiful most especially the turfed roofs! I don’t mind staying in them for a vacation, but of course not in winter, haha! But the slag heaps and the destruction of the earth they represent is one of the ugliest experiences our earth had.


  16. Fantastic shots on the slag heaps and view on homes and far away mountains with patch of snow.

    I agree with you, even the house look very old and poor they are pretty and stunning in colors. The place looks lively and still dwelling. Lovely


  17. Lady Fi, what a lovely town. I love the green roof, the church and the pretty scenery around the town. Great shots. Thanks for sharing your world.


  18. Those picturesque little houses are so pretty, but I sure would not want to live in one!!
    I love the last house, but the angle from the top of the slag heap. The prettiest house!!!


  19. Charming and picaresque as a part of history – but as you say, it must have been cold and miserable if one had to work there. The sod roofs are wonderful. I’ve occasionally seen them here and have been fascinated to think of living under a roof of grass and plants. Here in Co there has been environmental pollution from old mining slags. But, the people there seem to be living right up against them!


  20. Your photos are so atmospheric and the history is fascinating but I do not think it is easy to live in such a place, but then on the other hand I suppose most people would know no different.


  21. I enjoyed your lovely picturesque blog Fi. Those little villiages look great! Thanks for sharing. May I ask what you are filming? – Dave


  22. Great serie of photos from a town not far away from where I live (Trondheim).

    Liker bildeserien din. Tømmerhusene er faktisk meget varme om vinteren. Tømmeret holdt godt på varmen og en brukte derfor mindre brendsel (ved) for å få en behagelig temperatur!
    Fotojobbing for meg denne helga!
    Men, med nydelig vær blir det bare deilig. Ønsker deg ei super helg!


  23. As always, your photos of a place captures its soul, Fiona. Yes, Roros is charming, even romantic, in your images, but for nothing, nothing, would I ever want to live there. I can’t help but see the harsh reality behind the picturesque. I looked up Roros on a map and was surprised that it wasn’t further north. Still, one does not need to go north at all in Scandinavia to have long dark cold winters (I grew up in Helsinki, remember). And this place looks desolate. Today copper yields a pretty penny, but I bet none is left in Roros, and that may be why the metal has become so expensive; so many of the mines have been depleted, yes? I’d be very interested to hear what took you here — my bet is it was not for sightseeing, as I also bet you took these shots very late in the day… here in the land of the midnight sun. I’m so glad you shared these precious images, almost of a time gone by… and hard times gone by. Are there any young people here anymore?


    1. The copper mines are all shut down. I think they closed in the seventies. The winters are very dark – and can be harsh – but as it’s also protected in the mountains, not as harsh as you might expect apparently.

      We saw lots of young people there. I think they tend to move away and then move back when they start having their own families.

      I was there filming in the Håg factory where the world famous Håg chairs are made.


      1. The Håg chairs are made in Roros? Way inland like that? Factories are more typically found near ports. And how did you manage to keep a large factory like that out of your photos? LOL! Glad to hear it’s not as stark as it seems and that the young have reason to return.

        [I am on a home visit in Manila, so don’t have to climb over any firewall for a bit. 🙂 ]


  24. hala, you don’t know what your story, your composition evokes, ms. lady fi. your pictures say so much – what you showed, what you didn’t…^^
    thank you for bringing us stories of lives from the North… regards and have fun! 😉


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