The Iron Lady of Sweden

We quite often drive north from Ockelbo towards Åmot, first through fields and increasingly forested hills. This is a beautiful part of the country and the further one goes the more hilly it gets. There are also many lakes, mostly un-named. The sizeable lake at Ockelbo is called Bysjön (Village Lake).

On our way north we soon pass Wij Gardens, a manor house and farmland growing crops, mostly vegetables. It is run as a non-profit foundation by its owner, Lars Kranz, who was trained as a master gardener at the Anthropological centre at Järna. He also worked at Rosendahl’s Garden in Djurgården, Stockholm, known as for its biodynamic cultivation, before taking over as Master Gardener at Wij.

Christina Broms lived and worked at Wij Manor in  the early 1700s. If you can read Swedish this webpage provides detailed information on the Iron Lady from the 1700s written by Jan Forsgren. There is also a Wikipedia page on her (only in Swedish) here. Christina Broms became an important owner of several manors in the region.

There is sadly very little in English on this whole history of a woman who concentrated her energy developing Sweden’s iron industry. Bunges Chapel (click the tab on language for a version in English) on the road to Åmot has connections to Christina Broms (the WordPress programme won’t let me use the umlaut over Broms, no idea why). In the early days of the settlement of this area the chapel was the only religious establishment. It had it own graveyard with either simple headstones made of stone or sometimes iron.

The church was built eventually, using the income generated by finding high-grade iron nearby, but only in the late 1800s. It is a handsome building see the photo here. The Archbishop of Uppsala, Nathan Söderblom is reputed to have said that Åmot Church has the loveliest location north of the Alps. Bunges Chapel serves coffee and tea in the summer though for limited hours. There is very pleasant accommodation by day or week hard by the Chapel.

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  1. Pingback: Iron Works Gästrikland | Ordoliberalism

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