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Despite the fact that the tourist infrastructure began to develop in Kiruna only in the second half of the 20th century, the city annually attracts a certain category of tourists. First of all, those who want to see the life of the Scandinavian province amid the harsh northern landscapes are interested in Kiruna. In summer, local travel companies organize city tours and hikes in the surrounding area.
In winter, the so-called Christmas Tours are very popular, as the city is located in the Swedish part of Lapland, a historical area Scandinavia, recognized as the birthplace of Santa Claus. In addition, it is in winter that a special tourist program dedicated to a number of local attractions starts in Kiruna every year.
Main, and the most visited attraction of Kiruna by foreign tourists is the Ice Hotel. It is thanks to this building that many guests come to the small Swedish city every winter. This is not the only hotel of this kind in the world, but it has the status of the first in the world. The hotel arose in 1989 from an exhibition of ice sculptures and paintings organized by masters from Japan. A year later, an igloo was again erected on this site, where an exhibition of French artists was already held, the first guests of the hotel were visitors to the exhibition, who did not have enough rooms in local hotels.
Since 1990, the hotel has stood for several months of winter and welcomes guests who are willing to pay a lot of money for a night in a room where everything is made of ice, except for warm beds. With the first thaws in spring, the hotel is being dismantled, so every year the rooms inside and the hotel itself look different from the outside. In the rooms, the minimum temperature was fixed at -5 ° C, and then only on days of severe frost, when the street was freezing down to -30 ° C.
After spending the night in the Ice Hotel, tourists go on an organized tour of Kiruna and the first stop will be the local City Hall building. It was built in 1962, 13 years after Kiruna received city status. The building itself, with its austere appearance, is unlikely to attract even connoisseurs of typical architecture, but the clock tower of the City Hall is one of the symbols of the city. The tower is a metal structure depicting a descent into a mine. On each side of the tower there is a large dial of the main clock of the city.
Kiruna City Hall is partially accessible to tourists - one of the entrances to this gloomy building is the entrance to the Art Museum. The exposition of the museum occupies several rooms, and has its own exposition of canvases and sculptures by contemporary Swedish painters. From time to time, the museum hosts imported exhibitions from leading European museums.
Another official symbol of the city is the Kirunavaara mine, the location of the mine can be seen from anywhere in Kiruna. A huge pyramid overlooking the city is the world's largest iron ore mine. If in most cities production of this kind is closed, then small tourist groups are allowed here. Guests of the city can go down to a shallow depth underground and see with their own eyes how iron is mined. By shallow depth, the owners of the mine mean a descent of a couple of hundred meters, while the maximum depth of the mine is more than a kilometer.
A separate, and very long stop is made at Kiruna Church. This main religious building of the city, despite its modern appearance, was built in 1912. In appearance, the temple resembles a Sami village house, the roof of which is at a low height from the ground. Inside, it is a spacious and very light building, which was decorated with works of the best Swedish artists and sculptors. The church has been included in the list of the most beautiful buildings in Sweden many times.
There is a whole district in Kiruna, considered to be one big attraction, it is the Ortdrivarten Quarter. The quarter was created in 1966, the designer of all buildings was one person - the Swedish architect Ralph Erskine. Most of the houses here are residential, but they all have an unusual shape of facades, windows and balconies. Tourists are often offered excursions to a number of local bars and cafes.
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Topic: Information about Kiruna in Sweden.