The Winter Road

The Winter Road is representative of all the winter transportation routes used within the Circumference – that is to say the area within the circle of privileges obtained by Røros Copper Works in 1646. (By Royal Charter granted in Copenhagen).

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    Svein Arild Johnsgård

The Winter Road was one of the busiest transportation routes between Sweden, Femundsbygdene and Røros. The Copper Works and the workers needed enormous supplies of material and all manner of goods. Røros therefore became equally important as a trade centre for both the surrounding Swedish and the Norwegian settlements. Transportation of goods was preferably carried out during the winter using horse-drawn sledges pulled over ice covered rivers, lakes and marshlands. Hundreds of sledge drivers transported innumerable loads of goods to and from Røros during each winter.

The Winter Road was the main connection between the two mining towns Falun, in Sweden and Røros. The demanding return trip between the towns was approximately 850 kilometres and could take longer than 6 weeks. If the weather and the ground conditions were good, a sledge could travel between 20 and 40 km in a day. The traffic along this route also led to the establishment of a pattern of practices which are culturally and historically interesting.

As the copper mine was totally dependent on a comprehensive supply of goods, it was necessary to establish farms or inns together with their keepers along the route to cater for the needs of the drivers where both man and horse could find shelter and food. Along the stretch of The Winter Road that is a World Heritage site there are the farms or inns called Sæther (Sheperd’s Hut), Holla, (the hollow) Korssjøen (Cross Lake) and Sevatdalen (Black Valley) all typical examples of important wayside inns or farms.

World Heritage Røros mining town and the Circumference comprises three localities: The mining town itself together with its surrounding historical areas, Femund Hut, and the route used in winter for the transportation of goods through Tufsingdalen – ‘The Winter Road’.