The Kleva Gruva is a former copper and nickel mine in the region of Alseda / Vetlanda / Holsbybrunn, Sweden. It was opened in 1691 after a ringer made a walk in the forest and found a stone that he believed to be gold. The mine was operated until 1920 with a lot of interruptions. In 1991 the mine was opened for visitors and is now operated by a family from Germany.
It was a bit difficult to find the Kleva Gruva and we couldn’t trust the GPS in our car – Google Maps finally brought us there. After parking on the small parking area you have to walk a small distance to get to the facilities. When you get close to the entrance you already feel the cold wind coming out of the mountain.
The mine is a bit unconventional from a middle European standpoint: you can choose to take a tour or explore the mine on your own. In central Europe you always have to take a tour; I never went unguided underground. Doing so has advantages and disadvantages, you can go at your own speed and are not forced to listen to explanations that might be boring for a child. On the other hand you don’t learn to much about the mine – I didn’t read the guidebook while underground.
When you paid the entrance fee you receive a helmet and a torch – and dependent on the age a small game for children. We searched for symbols in the mine and our child received a sack of stones in return. Outside you can just take jackets and rubber boots and you should definitely do so: it is a freezing three degrees under the surface. In addition, beyond the main route you will face water on the ground.
The mine starts with a long tunnel and a wonderful lake. From there you can go to a large hall, a small labyrinth and different smaller chambers. To get out you are supposed to climb up steep ladders. You can omit this by walking back the same route but you would miss to get on top of the mine and see the vast amount of removed rock with copper traces.
Outside you can then buy souvenirs, drinks and ice cream. You can additionally book gold washing for the kids, use a nice balancing path or have a barbecue on their grounds. A nice experience! On their website they write that they only accept cards to a limited extend. That is only because of the high percentage they have to pay because of card payments – technically it works without a problem.
Kleva Gruva 1
570 15 Holsbybrunn