World Heritage RørosThe Work of PreservationPreservation of Buildings

Preservation of Buildings

Copper ore was the reason that a town was built on the mountain slopes of Røros. The new arrivals built their houses close to the smelting shed, on both banks of the Hitter River, which supplied power to the smelting furnaces, all this took place some 10 km. away from where the mines were sited.

Amund Spangen

The geographic and climatic conditions as well as the social conditions and production methods at the copper works gave the town a special form.

The geographic and climatic conditions as well as the social conditions and production methods at the copper works gave the town a special form.

Today, the copper works are no longer the vital link to peoplesí livelihood in the old mining community. The smelting shed, which right from the founding of the town was the most important source of employment, was closed down after a fire broke out in 1953. Subsequently the copper works only had some administrative employees in the town. In 1977, after more than 330 years activity the last mine closed down. Around the middle of the 1900s the inhabitants gave up running their farms.

Even if mining no longer counts, the mining community continues to live on. Industry, trade and service are responsible for the livelihood of 3,000 inhabitants and the old buildings serve as an excellent environment for the new activities.

Most of the old buildings are from the 1700s and 1800s and represent important cultural and historical assets. Røros and the surrounding area has become historic documentation for the industrial activity, the farming and what took place on the mountain slopes.  The awareness of this meant that preservation work started early in order to protect the mining town, work that became increasingly important as houses no longer performed the function they were built for and were in danger of falling down. Buildings and complete properties have been renovated and preserved for the future thanks to the efforts of professional help and economic support of the Chief Inspector, of The Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings.

In 1920 the law for the preservation of buildings was adopted. This made it possible to secure cultural heritage. From 1920 until today approximately 100 buildings in Røros mining town have preservation orders, among others houses in Rasmusgaarden. The mining town was included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1981. The whole town is protected and approximately 400 houses are included within the protection zone.


Røros was added to UNESCOs of World Heritage Sites in 1980, refer also to Riksantikvaren, ( Norwegian Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings).
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