Kiruna Kyrka

Study the unique design of this early 20th-century church, which was inspired by traditional indigenous homes.

Kiruna Kyrka, or Kiruna Church, is considered to be one of the most beautiful public buildings in Sweden. Admire this striking church’s distinctive architecture and see works by a number of notable Swedish artists.

Find the church down a pleasant path lined with birch and rowan trees. Perched on a hill, the church overlooks a mine across the valley.

View its red wooden exterior and dainty tower topped with a small crucifix. In the winter, it looks particularly charming, covered with a layer of snow. Its design was inspired by the traditional hut homes of the indigenous Sami people. It was commissioned by the manager of the LKAB Iron Ore Mine and designed by architect Gustaf Wickman.

Notice the bronze sculptures by Christian Eriksson found along the church’s roof. These sculptures represent various human feelings, including shyness, love, trust and sadness. The same artist designed the relief scene found over the main door.

Enter the church and view its gorgeous Scandinavian architecture, noting the elegantly carved dark timber and simple altar. There is space for around 800 people inside.

View the church’s beautiful altarpiece, The Sacred Grove, painted by Prince Eugen, which depicts Paradise as a Tuscan landscape. See the exquisite stained glass of the church’s lower windows and glowing chandeliers hanging from its lofty ceiling. The huge pipe organ creates an impressive sound. Look for a cross with a metal sculpture at its base, called St. George and the Dragon, which is also the work of Eriksson. Look for pieces by other notable artists, including Albert Engström and Ossian Elgström.

Check out the church’s neighboring bell tower. This free-standing structure is supported by masts built with wood from Russian forests on the White Sea. Visit the grave of the first managing director of the LKAB, Hjalmar Lundbohm, who is viewed by locals as one of the founders of the city.

Find Kiruna Kyrka a short walk away from the center of Kiruna. It’s open daily, with shortened hours on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is free.

See some of Sweden’s loveliest art and architecture at this historic church.

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