Laver Ruins – Älvsbyn V, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

Laver Ruins

Älvsbyn V, Sweden

The concrete skeletons of an abandoned Swedish town hide among the trees. 


When Laver was constructed in the 1930s, it was the most modern town in Sweden. Twenty apartment buildings were built, complete with district heating, electric stoves, refrigerators, toilets with running water, and a common HVAC system. There was a school, a grocery store, a swimming hall, and a cultural center with a cinema.

The town, however, was short-lived. The nearby copper mine closed, thanks to a low concentration of copper in the ore and falling prices on the world market. After the mine closed, the locals moved away. Laver was torn down in 1947, only 10 years after it was constructed.

Surprisingly, the area is still of interest to the mining companies. New technologies, combined with rising metal prices on the world market, have led mining companies to once again begin prospecting in the area.

Regardless of what the future holds for the area at large, Laver remains a relic of the past. Only the foundations of the buildings still exist. They stand among the trees like reinforced skeletons haunted an area where 350 people once lived. 

Know Before You Go

Laver is located approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) west of Älvsbyn in northern Sweden. It is reachable by car.

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