Røros, 150 km (90 miles) south of Trondheim, received national attention in 1644 when copper was discovered by a local farmer named Hans Aasen. When Aasen was out hunting one day he found a shiny rock, which he showed to a friend of his, a German copper works manager named Lorentz Lossius. Lossius confirmed that it was indeed copper Aasen had found and mining started outside Røros later that year. Today, the whole city of Røros with its old timber houses is like an open-air museum and the only building made of stone in the entire town is the church, which was the only building left after the fire in 1678. The legacy has also put the old mining town on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Getting to Røros by car takes 2½ hours from Trondheim and, if you’re coming from Oslo, about 4½ hours. There are also connections by train and bus several times daily from both Trondheim and Oslo. Røros even has an airport with flights six days a week from Oslo with Widerøe, which is the only commercial airline available.
Guided tours of downtown Røros in English start at the tourist office and are only offered in the summer, starting at 1 pm Monday-Saturday and 2 pm on Sundays. The guide takes you through the two main streets, Kjerkgata and Bergmannsgata, with their old wooden houses. The tour ends inside the old church.
The Olav Mine, about a 10-minute drive from downtown, is a must for all visitors to the Røros area. There are guided tours daily year-round which take you deep into the mine at 50 m (150 feet) below ground level.
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