Visitors coming from the south can reach Dalarna either on Road 60 from Ärebro or on Road 70 from Stockholm. The starting point of this tour is the town of Avesta, 170km/105mi northwest of Stockholm.
Avesta (alt. 84m/276ft, pop. 25,000), on the Dalälv (two waterfalls), has been an industrial town since the 14th century. The largest copper coin in the world, weighing almost 20kg/44lb, was minted here in 1644, and the town now has a large steelworks producing high-grade steel. The Gamla By (Old Town) of Avesta still preserves the atmosphere of the 17th century.Avesta is also the site of the world's largest Dalecarlian Horse, made of concrete. It is painted red with a brightly colored harness.
6km/4mi southeast of Avesta is Karlbo, with the house (Tolvmannagården) in which the poet Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1864-1931) was born. His grave is in the Folkärna cemetery (11km/7miles northeast).
20km/12.5mi beyond Avesta on Road 70 lies Hedemora (alt. 107m/351ft, pop. 17,000), the oldest town in Dalarna (chartered in 1446). In the main square, Stora Torget, are the Town Hall (1761) and a red-painted timber-built pharmacy of 1779. Many buildings in the center of the town are made of wood. The Theater (1820) was once used as a granary. North of the town, on a small lake, is Hedemora Gammelgård, an open-air museum with a collection of old houses.
12km/7.5mi northeast of Hedemora (Road 270), on the Dalälv, is the village of Näsgård, starting-point of the round trip (35km/22mi) known as the Husbyring: Husby Kungsgården, where the first mining rights in the Falu mines were granted in 1347 - Stjärnsund, on Lake Grycken. There was an iron foundry in operation here until 1942. Manufacture of the Stjärnsund clocks, originally made by Christoffer Polhem (1661-1751); museum. Sylvhytteå, with an old iron foundry (restored). -Högsta-Weg: stone-settings. Kloster: ruins of the Cistercian abbey of Gudsberga (1477-1538). -Then back to Näsgård.
From Hedemora, Road 70 goes to Säter (alt. 157m/515ft, pop. 11,500), with the interesting Åsgårdarnas Hof featuring old houses and a workshop for making tiled stoves. To the north extends the Säterdal, a beautiful valley some 6km/4miles long. From the old mining settlement of Bispberg, 3km/2mi northeast, a path runs up Bispbergs Klack (314m/1,030ft; view).Beyond Säter there is a distant view of the 86m/282ft high church tower of Stora Tuna. The church dates from 1486 (paintings, crucifix 6m/20ft high).
Road 70 continues from Säter to Borlänge (alt. 139m/456ft, pop. 46,000), a considerable industrial town, with iron and steel works and rolling mills. The Geological Museum features a special section on Dalarna. From the Forssa Klack, 2km/1.25mi north, there are extensive views. 20km/12.5mi northeast of Borlänge is Falun; 45km/28mi south is Ludvika.Borlänge is noted for its shopping center, Kupolen ('The Dome'). This area has become very busy and stands out as the heart of the town.
Jussi Björling Museum
Photographs, portraits, personal belongings, records, programmes, posters, letters and costumes connected with Jussi Björling are on display.
Address: Borganäsvägen 25, S-78433 Borlänge, Sweden
Opening hours: Jun 1 to Aug 31: 11am-6pm; Sun: 12pm-5pm; Sat: 10am-2pm
Sep 1 to May 31: 12pm-5pm; Closed: Sun, Mon, Sat
Sep 1 to May 31: 12pm-5pm; Closed: Sun, Mon, Sat
Always closed on: New Year's Eve (Dec 31), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24)
Entrance fee in SEK: Adult kr40.00, Students kr20.00, Child 12 & under FREE
Guides: Audio-visual presentations available. Guided tour included with admission.
Facilities: Gift shop
At Djurås the Öster and Västerdalälv join to form the Dalälv, which Road 70 follows. From Djurås it runs north to the old village of Gagnef (alt. 183m/600ft; 16th C. church with beautiful stained glass), which is famed for its fine lace, and the industrial town of Insjön (alt. 183m/600ft), to the north of which is the 15th century church of Ål, with a local museum adjoining the church. The road then comes to Leksand (26km/16mi), on the south side of Lake Siljan.Immediately north of Lake Siljan is a rather smaller lake, the Orsasjö, at the north end of which is the town of Orsa (alt. 171m/561ft, pop. 7,000), the industrial and commercial center of northern Dalarna. The church (originally 14th C.) has 16th century frescoes and a fine font with a wooden base.
Orsa - Fryksåsen Leisure Center
12km/7.5mi northwest of Orsa is the Fryksåsen leisure center (winter sports), from which there are far-ranging views over Lakes Orsa and Siljan.
17km/11mi northeast of Orsa, situated some 100m/330ft above the Oreälv, is the village of Skattungbyn, at the west end of which is a birch tree ("Skattungsbjörken") which retains its leaves until the new shoots appear in spring.
20km/12.5mi east of Skattungbyn, the tourist resort of Furudal (alt. 205m/673ft), between the Skattungsjö to the northwest and the Oresjö to the southeast, is popular with anglers in summer and skiers in winter (ski-tow). The church has some medieval wood sculpture.12km/7.5mi north of Furudal are the summer grazings of ãrteråsen (alt. 468m/1,535ft). Some 20km/12.5mi south (Road 300), near Boda, is the Styggfors, a waterfall 36m/120ft high.
From Orsa Road 45 leads north into an inhospitable forest region, the Orsa Finnmark, which was settled by Finnish immigrants in the 17th century and still has many villages and hills with Finnish names, such as Pilkalampinoppi (644m/2,113ft; view) and Korpimäki (706m/2,316ft). Both of these hills, together with the Fågelsjö, lie within the Hamra National Park (27 hectares/70 acres), a heavily wooded area resembling a primeval forest.
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