The town Kiruna, in Swedish Lapland, is quite a young town, for European standards :-) It was born in the 1900’s as the mining industry was starting to grow in the area. Because of the “ore rush”, Kiruna was born and the population expended very quickly within a few years (if you want to know more about the mining industry and why the city is sinking and has to be relocated, I invite you to go back to my previous post).
Today there are about 23 000 people living there ! During summer, you can enjoy the 6000 lakes and the seven rivers of the areas, particularly interesting for fishing and for kayaking.
During winter, you can experience the polar nights since the town is located at 145 km north of the Arctic Circle. From the first week of December until the second week of January, Kiruna has very limited hours of daylight. The sun never rises above the horizon. There is a strange glow, it’s very peculiar. It doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy yourselves, as you can do plenty of activities, like visiting the ice hotel, doing a moose safari or a dog-sledding tour !
You can also visit the town and have a look at the church, Kiruna Kyrka. The church is very peculiar and was designed by the architect Gustaf Wickman and was voted Sweden’s best looking church. It has the shape of a tent and it represents a Sami goahti (turf house). It is free to get inside, but the inside is pretty unremarkable.
You can walk in the streets, look at the colourful buildings and enjoy this winter wonderland !
You can see the different with the daylight. The pictures of the church were taken in early afternoon (probably 1 pm), the sun was completely hidden, and it was starting to get darker and darker. The pictures of the town were taken in late morning, around 11-12 am… the sun was slightly rising above the horizon, and it looked like a permanent sunrise/sunset :-)