Cold Comfort: 7 Abandoned Wonders of Scandinavia

Railway Power Station, Sweden

Abandoned Scandinavia Railway 1

Abandoned Scandinavia Railway 2

Abandoned Scandinavia Railway 3

This abandonment in Sweden looks like something straight out of a fantasy film – possibly the entrance to some kind of underground dwarf kingdom. Gates covered in moss are built right into rock faces, towering dozens of feet into the air. In reality, the facility is a backup power station for the Swedish railways, built to ensure that the railways would always have power even in case of war or disaster. But once the Cold War passed, so did the need for such stations. Many of them have been dismantled, the entrances covered with concrete, while others are wide open to explorers who know where to look.

Säter Mental Institution, Sweden

Abandoned Scandinavia Sater Hospital 1

Abandoned Scandinavia Sater Hospital 2

Founded in 1912, the Säter Mental Hospital was once Sweden’s largest, housing those patients deemed ‘criminally insane.’ As such, it was as much a prison as it was a hospital, where people were locked up for life with very little actual psychiatric care. The hospital held roughly 40,000 people by the 1960s, at which point views about treatment started to change, with many patients put on psychiatric drugs. As the general public attitude about mental hospitals continued to evolve, institutions like Säter were seen as cruel and outdated, and many closed. This particular hospital was emptied in 1989 and left to decay.

Abandoned Match Factory, Finland

Abandoned Scandinavia Match Factory Abandoned Scandinavia Match Factory 2

With most of its windows broken and the inside strewn with trash, the Finnmatch factory is little more than a brick shell of its former self. The factory was built in the 1920s and produced millions of matchbooks for the next half-century, finally closing in the 1970s. Never properly locked, the buildings became a squatting site, with people hauling in furniture and covering the walls in graffiti.