Let’s visit an abandoned gunpowder factory in Western Sweden. With the help of this gunpowder factory outside the village Tyfors, Sweden would replenish ammunition stocks if an invasion of foreign arms became a reality. This is what the factory looks like 70 years later.

tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-2The year was 1939, and Sweden’s preparedness was anything but good. It was a big lack of everything in the modern military equipment. In addition, a new world war erupted. Unable to rely solely on that the weapon manufacturer Bofors could deliver sufficient quantities, the production needed to be expanded.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-3

A Gunpowder Factory in Tyfors was started

The military estimated that Tyfors, about 100 kilometers from the Norwegian border would be the perfect place to build a gunpowder factory. The main reason was the strategic location.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-4

The location was strategic due to Tyfors is located far inland from the coast, had good road access and also a railway that ended in the vicinity. You could simply load the gunpowder on freight trains without too many prying eyes.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-5

Construction of the factory

The factory was built in two parts. One part above ground and one underground. The underground was blasted out inside the nearby mountain. The cave got really big and it was possible to drive a car inside.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-6

When construction began is even today unclear. The facility was certainly in operation during the war, but witnesses have emerged that already in 1938 personnel were hired to the scene.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-1

Who was working here?

At the gunpowder factory in Tyfors worked at most around 200 persons. Recruitment of these occurred in secrecy as the region had a small population.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-7

In the nearest town of Fredriksberg, no labors were available. All the men of working age were already working at the paper mill.


Engine for an elevator.

Instead, they had to get labor from Hällefors and Vansbro. Of the 40 women who worked in the plant were, however, a majority from Fredriksberg.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-8

In addition to those who were involved in the manufacturing of cotton gunpowder, there were also soldiers from “Hemvärnet” (a kind of military reserves). Another military troops were stationed on the spot and took care of anti-aircraft batteries.tyfors-gunpowder-factory-22

According to the rumor, anti-aircraft guns successfully fought a German over-flying plane and managed to shoot it down. Because that Sweden was neutral during the war, this was never officially mentioned.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-9

The Factory in operation

The powder production focused on the manufacture of the rather primitive cotton gunpowder, but it suited well for mass production. Powder production occurred mainly in the premises below ground.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-10

The production ends

The powder production stopped almost immediately when World War II ended. A calendar on the wall in of one of the buildings shows the date 21th October 1945. Since that day, one has bothered to change the calendar page.tyfors-abandoned-gunpowder-factory-11

The facility remained in its entirety as a reserve factory until the year 1973. In the 1980s, Bofors used the cavern as a stock. Then, the area has an object of decay. Today, around thirty buildings are left in varying condition.tyfors-gunpowder-factory-21

Tyfors gunpowder factory today 2018?

I revisited Tyfors gunpowder factory in July 2018 and it’s still a great place. It’s not that intact as it was when I did my first visit here a couple of years ago, but instead a great place for beginners in urban exploration.tyfors-gunpowder-factory-26

There are a lot of holes in the fence and the surroundings are calm and you can freely walk in and out.