Province: Norrbottens Ian. Region: Norra Lappland. Altitude: 506 m (1660 ft). Population: 30,000. Postal code: S-981 Telephone code: 09 80. i’j’ Kiruna TuristbyrS,
S-98131 Kiruna; tel. 1 86 60.
HOTELS, Ferrum, Kdpmangatan 1, 208 Kebne. Mangigatan 4, 54 b. YOUTH HOSTEL
Kiruna, the most northerly town in Sweden, lies in the same latitude as central Greenland. It is the middle of a commune which borders on both
Norway and Finland and, with an area of 20,000 sq. km (7700 sq. miles), is the largest in the country. The midnight sun is visible here from mid-May to mid-July. Originally a small Lapp settlement, the town began to develop about 1900, when the local iron ore began to be mined. By the time Kiruna received its municipal charter in 1948, the population had risen to 11,000.
SIGHTS. SE of the station is the Town Hall (1 963; carillon and an art collection). The wooden church (Gustav Wickman, 1912) is shaped, as many of the churches in the N are, to represent a Lapp tent. It contains an altarpiece painted by Prince
Eugen of Sweden and an altar group of carved wood by Christian Eriksson and Ossian Elgstrom. The underground iron mines at Kiirunavaara are open to visitors daily. Geophysical observatory (research into Northern Lights).
SURROUNDINGS. Within the commune, though some 90 km (56 miles) W of Kiruna itself, is Sweden’s highest mountain, ‘Kebnekaise (2117 m 6946 ft). The ascentof the S peak takes about 8-9 hours and should be undertaken only by experienced and properly equipped climbers. In a high valley on the slopes oiKeipack (789 m-2589 ft) is the Kebnekaise climbing base. 45 km (28 miles) N of Kiruna a rocket station was established in 1965 by the European Space Research Organisation for the launching of research rockets. Other scientific establishments are the Glaciological Research Station in the Tarfala valley and the Scientific Research Station at Abisko. Also at Abisko (54), 95 km (60 miles) from Kiruna, is the Abisko National Park, a large nature reserve on the shores of Lake Tornetrask. Kiruna to Narvik (Norway) on the Lapland railway: 54.