The mining town of Røros is sometimes called “Bergstaden” which means “the mining town” due to its historical notoriety for copper mining.
It is one of two towns in Norway that were historically designated “mining towns”, along with the “silver-town” of Kongsberg. The modern-day inhabitants of Røros still work and live in the characteristic 17th and 18th century buildings which have led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Røros has about 80 wooden houses, most of them standing around courtyards. Many retain their dark pitch-log facades, giving the town a medieval appearance.
Røros was burned to the ground in 1678 and 1679 by the Swedish Army during the Scanian War. In 1718, during the Great Northern War, the town was once again taken by the Swedish Army, led by General De la Barre, who made up the southern arm of the main Swedish Army under Carl Gustaf Armfeldt. De la Barre took the city and all their mined copper at gunpoint.
Røros is particularly known for its magnificent church. It is placed the opposite way to almost all other churches in Norway. The main entrance is located to the southeast, while the choir to the altar is located to the northwest. Traditionally, churches are built with the altar pointing towards Jerusalem. According to Matt. 24:27, the light (Jesus) comes from the east and shines towards the west, which means that Jesus will return from the east. According to this dogma of Jesus’ return the constructors placed the altar on the east side of the church so the reverend and the church are facing Jesus.
In the framework of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, a conference will be held in Røros from May 14.-16. The conference, titled ‘Living with World Heritage’, will discuss World Heritage and sustainable development and the role of local communities.
The famous Norwegian author, Johan Falkberget, was born in Røros in 1879.Since he grew up in a mining area and began his career as a miner, his works drew extensively on his experiences with the people, the country culture and mining. His breakthrough work in 1923 was a novel titled ‘The Fourth Night Watch’, a historic novel set in the first half of the 19th century in and around the mines. This was followed by his «Christianus Sextus» trilogy, set in the 1720s, in which the mining culture is also a central theme. After a long and productive life, he died on April 15, 1967 and is buried in the family plot in the upper churchyard at Røros.
Text modified by: Ester Jepsen, ThorNews
Photos from top: Wikimedia Commons, Bernt Bigton