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 ORKLA Industrial Museum
 Løkken Verk

The Old Mine is called "Cathedral of Work and Toil". You can hardly find a more honourable name of what used to be the old miners" place for work from the middle of the 17th century until a couple of centuries later. To keep himself and his family alive, the miner would here fight a daily battle against the resistant ore. The ore was extracted by the firesetting method. Big fires were lit alongside the rocks to make them crack. After the flames died and the smoke was ventilated, the miner went to work with his pick, breaking loose stones where the rocks had cracked. In this way the mine slowely but surely grew.

The largest room which you as a tourist now may enter is called the Fagerli Hall. It has a floor area of 1.300 square metres and is 15 metres high below the ceiling. Here you really get the sense of being in a cathedral. As a consert hall the Fagerli Hall is quite unique, with extraordinarily fine acoustics. A number of well-known artists from Norway and abroad have held conserts here. This is also the arena where the specially written play "Løkkenbusen", was performed.

The local community Løkken Verk has developed during 300 years of mining industry. The ore in Løkken field was discovered in 1652 and the mines put into operation in 1654. Later this find proved to be one of the greatest cuperous-pyrite deposits in the world. During the first 250 years copper was the main product of the mines, followed by a period where both copper and sulphur were extracted. Finally copper, zink and silver were the Løkken Mines products.

It was not until the start of the 20th century that an industrial-scale mining fully developed. The architect Christian Thams was the initator of the Orkla Grube-Aktiebolag (Orkla Mining Company), and he started one of the largest industrial enterprises in Norway at that time. Production premises, power plants, offices, shops and housing units were all required in the modern industrial society. Shortly afterwards, however, Mr. Thams had to give up because of disagreement with other owners and employees. But what he founded grew to become one of Norway´s most solid industrial undertakings and the precursor of the present Orkla Group.



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