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Introduction and history

A mount with a interesting history, magnificent view and a fantastic sculpture park.

Vy över oljeproduktionen i Kvarntorp på 1940-talet

Welcome to this guided art tour! Each work of art will be given a 3-4-minute introduction that you can listen to. You can either listen in numerical order according to the map available on our home page www. visitkumla.se, or in any order you wish.

But let us start by the history of Mount Kvarntorp and how it came about. This has not always been a tourist attraction with a sculpture park. It all started once upon a time as an industrial enterprise. During World War II Sweden´s oil import was stopped. The army still needed fuel and the military stockpile needed improvement. It was well known that there was easily accessible alum shale here for shale oil production. The oil was needed at all costs, but it became a very expensive project, especially for the environment.

The history of Kvarntorp can be divided into two eras – before and after 1941. Before, this was virgin territory and after all hell broke loose. There was the smell of sulphur, smoke, soot, noise, clatter and black holes in the earth where shale had been quarried. The waste from the oil production was piled up and this is the very hill that we are now standing on – Mount Kvarntorp. In this place cableway baskets squeaked up the slope. Then the oil was pumped up into large cisterns for further transportation.

Rarely has an industrial enterprise evoked so many feelings and engaged so many. During one period the Kvarntorp works were called “The Ovens of Hell on the Plains of Närke.” The reason for this was that the constantly burning ovens spread smell, soot and devastation all about, coloring both the environment and the employees.

At the end of the war many Swedes wanted to keep up the Swedish oil production. Not until 1966 was the last oil oven shut down and that meant the end to horrible pollution. What was left was the ruin of an industry – a warm 100-meter high heap of ashes. Still, more than 50 years after the cessation of the production, there are several places of heat inside the mount. You can see signs of warning for these hot areas in several places, so we ask you to please respect these as the temperatures in the ground are very high.

Today nature has regained the area so that the mount is a place where trees and flowers grow. Mount Kvarntorp is a mount with a magnificent view and a fantastic sculpture park.

It was thus the industrial/historical events that created this mount, which then became the project called “Art at the Top”. In the 40s no one would have believed this to be possible. The mount is quite a unique sculpture park, filled with works from many of the country´s most prominent artists. Please join me and I will tell you about art work number 1.


Senast uppdaterad:
20 september 2023
Sidan publicerad av:
Piia Edh