Discover Småland | Almvik brick museum (Tegelbrukmuseum Almvik)
We are regularly on the east coast of Sweden. And so we come back from the north and want to go to Figeholm via Västervik. I have long been interested in the abandoned industrial plant on the left, the former brickworks. Today we visit the former Tegelverk Almvik, today the Almvik brick museum.
Even the Almvik brick plant is built in typical fall Swedish red, an old, weathered wooden bridge leads to the extensive grounds on the shores of a small Baltic Sea bay. There was still a lot of activity here in the 19th century, in addition to the brick factory there was a mill, a sawmill and a joinery. The carpentry is still in operation, today high quality furniture for churches and institutions is created here.
The location of the Almvik brickworks was ideal, because the products could be shipped from here and transported to the entire coastal region. The production of bricks started here at the beginning of the 17th century. It is documented that in 1699 alone 4000 of these stones were delivered for the renovation of Stegeholm Castle in Västervik.
In a letter from the brick masters it was documented that in 1855 a quantity of 560,000 bricks was produced. By 1928, production had increased to 1.4 million units. About 4/5 came as building blocks from the ovens, the rest as tubes and roof tiles. But now the clay was used up, and it had to be brought here from another part of Lake Bleken via a cable car.
The company was electrified in 1940, until then the small river alone was responsible for driving the devices. Until 1971, the traditional methods of production were used with the simplest of means.
Ziegelmuseum Almvik Tegelbrukmuseet Almvik – Kodak Portra 160 | © mare.photoToday the brick factory is an industrial museum of national importance. Well preserved in the state of 1971, it is continuously updated. Inside, large halls with the original objects are waiting to report on the importance of the raw material and its processing during the summer months.
A former consumer, in which the workers used to buy their needs, is today a café with the charm of the former lively industrial era. For us, places like this are little oases in which we lose ourselves, let ourselves drift, forget time and happily discover a little piece of Sweden, as no travel guide says.