Infobox Settlement
official_name = Kiruna

image_caption = Kiruna
image_shield =


subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = Sweden
subdivision_type1 = Municipality
subdivision_name1 = Kiruna Municipality
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Norrbotten County
subdivision_type3 = Province
subdivision_name3 = Lapland
established_date3 = 1948
established_title3 = Charter
area_footnotes = cite web |title=Tätorternas landareal, folkmängd och invånare per km2 2000 och 2005 |publisher=Statistics Sweden |url= |format=xls |language=Swedish |accessdate=2008-05-15]
area_total_km2 = 15.92
population_as_of = 2005-12-31
population_footnotes =
population_total = FORMATNUM:18154
population_density_km2 = 1140
timezone = CET
utc_offset = +1
timezone_DST = CEST
utc_offset_DST = +2
latd=67 |latm=51 |lats= |latNS=N
longd=20|longm=13 |longs= |longEW=E
website = []

Kiruna is the northernmost city of Sweden, situated in Lappland province, with roughly FORMATNUM:18000 inhabitants. It is the seat of Kiruna Municipality (pop. 23,235), Norrbotten County.

The name "Kiruna" comes from the Sami language "Giron" and means ptarmigan, a white bird native to northern areas. This bird is also depicted on the city arms, together with the sign for Iron. Iron symbolizes the mining industry which has been of great importance for the town.


Kiruna became a Swedish city in 1948, and was at one time listed as the largest city in the world by area,Fact|date=December 2007 even if most of its territory of course was non-urban. After the Swedish municipality reform in the 1970s, the term "city" has been legally discontinued. Today only the built-up area is considered a "de facto" city.

Being located 145 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Kiruna has perpetual daylight, the midnight sun, approximately from 30 May to 15 July. The polar night is a few weeks shorter, lasting December 13 – January 5.

Transportations are reliable by road (European route E10), rail and air via Kiruna Airport.


Iron ore extraction is a key industry of the area, and the town is very dependent on the mining company LKAB. During World War II, large quantities of iron were transported from northern Sweden by rail to the east coast, and further down to be sold to Germany. (See Swedish iron ore during World War II).

In recent years attempts have been made to reduce the area's dependence on mining with initiatives to promote science, R&D and government related activities. Initiatives have included the proposed relocation of the Swedish Space Corporation and the establishment of the Environment and Space Research Institute (Miljö- och rymdforskningsinstitutet); the former was never executed and the latter was essentially only a temporary success.

The ESTRACK Kiruna Station of ESA, the European Space Agency, is located in the municipality.So is Esrange, the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range, as well as an EISCAT station.

In 2007, the Swedish government announced that Kiruna would be the host of Spaceport Sweden [] , signing an agreement with Virgin Galactic [] .

Moving the town

In 2004, it was decided that the present centre of the municipality (N67°49'48", E20°25'48") must be relocated to counter mining related subsidence. The relocation will be made gradually over the coming decade. On January 8, 2007, the new location was decided. Kiruna will gradually move northwest to the foot of the Luossavaara mountain, by the lake of Luossajärvi.cite news
author = TT
title = Klart med Kirunas flytt
url =
work = Dagens Nyheter
date= 2007-01-08
accessdate = 2007-01-08
language = Swedish

The first actual work on moving the town was done in November 2007, when work on the new main sewage pipe started.cite news
author = Jessica Rosengren
title = Kirunaflytten är igång
url =
work = Norrländska Socialdemokraten,
date= 2007-11-23
accessdate = 2007-11-25
language = Swedish
] In the same week, first sketches for the layout of the new part of the town became available.cite news
author = Jessica Rosengren
title = Nu finns det skiss över nya Kiruna
url =
work = Norrländska Socialdemokraten,
date= 2007-11-23
accessdate = 2007-11-25
language = Swedish
] The sketches [] include a travel centre, the new locations for the city hall and the church, an artificial lake and an extension of the Luossavaara hill into the city.The location of the new section of the E10 is still uncertain, as is the location of the railway and the railway station.

A more official sketch will be published early in spring 2008, which will then be discussed with various interest groups for a next version.

Most of the buildings in Kiruna will simply be torn down and rebuilt at the target site. However, the Kiruna city hall, the most architecturally significant building in Kiruna, will be cut into four parts, each of which will be transported whole to the target site and reassembled there. The move will require an extremely flat road tens of metres wide and will be extremely slow.


In the village of Jukkasjärvi there is an Ice hotel, a proper hotel wholly built of ice, and reconstructed every year.

The church in Kiruna from 1912 is also notable, one of Sweden's largest wooden buildings. The church exterior is built in an Neo Gothic style, while the altar is in Art Nouveau. It has separately been voted Sweden's best looking church and the foremost Swedish pre-1950 construction.

Notable residents

* Börje Salming, NHL ice hockey defenseman

Twin cities

* Narvik, Norway
* Archangelsk, Russia

See also

* Esrange
* Swedish Institute of Space Physics
* Radiotjänst in Kiruna
* Spaceport Sweden


External links

* [ Kiruna ] - Official site
* [ Mitt Kiruna] - Kiruna city guide with local news, weather forecast, cinemas, TV-guide and current events.
* [ BBC - Sweden to save sinking town]
* [,20.236130&spn=0.125191,0.468361&t=k&hl=en Satellite picture by Google Maps]
* [ Det nya Kiruna ] - Languageicon|sv|Swedish
*en [ Trip to Kiruna]

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