Røros is a World Heritage listed copper mining town dating from the seventeenth century.

It is 628 metres above sea level, and is about 400 km by rail north of Oslo.

Copper mining ceased here in 1977 after 333 years of operation, and the old smelting works now houses an exceptionally good mining museum.

There are many old grass-roofed timber houses in Røros, some of which are over 300 years old.

Røros is interesting from a railway viewpoint as it was a major justification for the construction of the first railway to link Oslo with Trondheim. As built it was a 3 ft 6 in line from Hamar to Trondheim, with a standard gauge line from Oslo to Hamar.

The long 3 ft 6 in gauge section was constructed in stages. The first stage, from Elverum to Grundset was opened in 1862, and was the first public 3 ft 6 in gauge railway in the world. The second stage, from Trondheim to Støren was opened in 1864 and was the second 3 ft 6 in gauge railway in the world. It was built through very difficult country, and it proved the practicality of 3 ft 6 in gauge.

The railway reached Røros from both directions in 1877. It was subsequently converted in stages to standard gauge, the task being finished in 1941.

Frank Stamford

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One of the dominant features of Røros is the Lutheran church. It was built by the mining company in the early 1780s to replace a church dating from 1650. It is one of Norway's largest churches, and can seat 1600 people. The organ dates from 1742 and is still working.

One of the features of Røros are the very old turf-roofed timber buildings. In this example the double doors would indicate that this was a barn where animals were kept during the very cold winters which Røros endures.

One of the mine buildings, and the creek which provided power for the mining operations through numerous water wheels.


Very old miners cottages.

Leading to bridge

Another view of of these cottages.

bridge pier

One of the main streets of Røros.

More examples of timber buildings.






One of Røros's more elaborate houses, which probably belonged to a mine manager.

Unfortunately I do not know what purpose of the building on the left serves, but the architecture appealed to me.

A close-up view of the bridge in the previous picture.

Another example of a miner's house. This one is interesting in showing stone and timber construction.

Another bridge over the creek.

The sign on this old house says:

I wonder if the occupant is responsible for the magnificent models in the Røros mining museum.

View of some of main mine buildings, with the church in the background.

The creek, mine buildings and church.

This wooden construction is a weghing machine.

A bell tower near the mine buildings. I suspect it was related to mining operations, and not to the church in the background.

Inside the entrance to the church.

Røros railway station. The building dates from when the railway was opened in 1878, but originally there was also a large timber train shed spanning three tracks, with a similar roof line, but which was larger than the station building. Note there is a statue in the front of the station.

The statue in front of Røros station. Norwegians seem to like to honour notable people with statues. In this case it is Norwegian author Johan Falkberget (1879-1967) who was born in Røros and worked in the mines in the early years of his life. A number of his works have been translated into English.

View of the rail tracks at Røros station.


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All photographs Copyright Frank Stamford, 2008, who may be contacted by email at: frank.stamford@bigpond.com

Last updated: 27 August 2008