RoadTrip #17.1: The spectacular waterfalls and locks of Trollhättan, Sweden

Trollhättan is one of the most memorable Swedish cities we’ve visited so far. I felt small as we wandered along the Göta river, or the “River of the Geats”, which flows from the largest lake in Sweden, Vänern, into the Kattegat, the sea between Sweden and Denmark. The Trollhättan falls in the Göta river with a dam, hydropower station and locks was huge! The surrounding nature reserve of Älvrummet offers a great walking route with viewing points alongside it. We were also welcomed by several unique statues, and the neo-Gothic church from 1860 graced the place with its 40-meter tower and vibrant red brick color.

Waking up to the loud chirping of birds nesting in these trees, which line up a shopping street in Trollhättan
Breakfast at Hotell Bele

After spending a lovely evening and enjoying a delicious breakfast in Hotell Bele, we were out again to explore the city and see what Trollhättan has to offer. We saw some crows (specifically jackdaws) scavenging on some foodwaste on the street, like in a novel, while the city was slowly waking up to the loud chirping of birds and tooting of vehicles on an early Sunday morning.

Searching for the yellow Swedish mail box to drop some postcards
Stop staring!

We decided to see the waterfalls and the river, so we drove towards the Karl Johan’s Square and parked there. There are numerous unique statues in the area. Here are some:

“Den hellige lågan” (The Holy Flame) by Axel Ebbe, installed in 1936 and was Trollhättan’s first public artwork
“Touch” by Viktor Korneev, installed in 2009 in the waters of Malgön; made from granite from Bohuslän
“Ström” (Current) by Ian Newbery, installed in 2015 on the Strömkarl bridge

Also on the Strömkarl bridge is a huge head made from granite, entitled “Strömkarlen”, built by Carl Eldh and designed by architect Erik Josephson. It is also dubbed as the water spirit of the river.

“Strömkarlen” by Carl Eldh, installed in 1911

There are many other statues in Trollhättan, and one can do a walking tour to visit some of them. Check out this site if interested:

We crossed the Strömkarl bridge and expected to see the mighty waterfalls on the other side. However, we didn’t hear loud, crushing waters at that time. Apparently, the water was controlled by the dam then. It was only released in summer, and when they do, 300 000 liters of water rushes through the gates for every second! That would have been so dramatic to see.

Empty falls
Controlled until next summer
Lovely, yet a little scary, viewpoint

Without Vattenfall, the water authority controlling the dam, releasing the water, we were able to see the depths of the gorge and the texture of the riverbed, which was enormous. A path alongside it and within the Älvrummet nature reserve gave us a wonderful walking opportunity, as we admired the innovativeness of this city and its people. Chilly autumn weather and colors a bonus!

Autumn in Trollhättan
The gorge
Another viewing platform, offering amazing views of the gorge

The proximity of the Älvrummet nature reserve to the city is admirable. This is why I mentioned in a post before that I could imagine myself living here. It would be lovely to walk in the mornings, and when I get guests, I would know exactly where to take them. Beautiful hiking trails that offer amazing views – what a refreshing way to spend any day!

How old do you think are these, basing on the (beautiful) patterns?
An information board about the nature reserve
The gorge is deep
How did they even built the dam and walls while the strong current gushes over?
Fenced hiking trail
Approaching Oscarsbron (Oscar’s bridge)
Couldn’t stop admiring the views
A silhouette of the church

Oscarsbron or King Oscar’s bridge crosses the river Göta and was built in 1889. It was actually the first bridge to the city center that crosses the river, but the original bridge was replaced in 1969. So, when you google the bridge, the foundation is there, but the bridge itself was moved a little further. However, it has remained as a well-visited bridge in the city where one can gaze at the waterfalls. Not around the time were there though..

A main feature of Oscarsbron is this crown
Göta river flows farther towards the Kattegat

On the other side of the bridge are the Oliden hydropowerstation and the locks. But before that, we took the opportunity to get a closer look at the towering church. As mentioned, it was built in the 1800s in a neo-Gothic style by the New Trollhätte Canal Company (Nya Trollhätte Kanalbolag), and they eventually gifted it to the city. What a noble act!

Trollhättan church

There was a church service happening so we were not able to see the interior of the church.

Going back to the parking lot, we walked across parks and alongside some parts of the Trollhätte Canal. It was opened in 1800! And in 2004, it became a national monument. According to wikipedia, it is 82 kms long (about 10 kms was man-made), and has six locks downstream towards the city of Göteborg (Gothenburg). Since the locks were made with materials from over a hundred years ago, regular maintenance have been done but were not sufficient to make them safe until 2030. So, the city will be renovating the locks before that. It’s exciting to learn how they’re gonna do it.. More information about the canal and the locks here:

To the hydropower station and the locks
A lovely walk in the park on an island in the Göta river
Trollhätte canal
Livet er bra

The walk was memorable, and Trollhättan gave a lasting good impression. Before living the city, we went to a museum for a Swedish brand automobiles 🙂 More about it in the next entry! #spreadloveandpositivevibes



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