Deep inside the vast Swedish forests is an extremely dark place, literarily speaking. It’s a long forgotten underground gunpowder factory which when operational was so secret and hidden away that very few people knew about it. The history started in 1939 when WW2 broke loose. The usual supplier of gunpowder and ammunition to Sweden couldn’t cope with the increasing demand. This production facility was settled far in to the country but with suitable distance to railways and roads .The military installed defense systems and artilleries and at least one time German aircrafts flew over the place but it was not discovered. The factory produced gunpowder during the whole war and was first stopped when the war ended. Until 1973 the place was kept as a possible reserve for production, but after that it has been abandoned.
We went there an early misty morning and had to walk quite a while through the woods since the road was blocked. Old warning signs and tall fences testified that this once was a well guarded place. Well inside the underground the darkness was immense. I had brought with me several light sources ranging from a 800 lumen LED lamp, a few ordinary Led Lenser flashlights and a Silva Runner headlamp. If everything failed my plan was to rely on the light on my mobile phone. Without light inside the massive place I recon it would be impossible to get out uninjured – maybe not at all.
The darkness made it quite difficult for me to take photos. I wasn’t very used to such dark areas, but experimented a bit with light painting and long exposure time. Some pictures was ok, some had too much trace of the moving flash lights.
After many, many hours we felt we were finished the place. We had seen the cooking halls, the acid storage tank hall, the big dryers and the laboratory with offices with all the old rusty gas masks. Creepy place and it was surly in a bad state crumbling apart. Outside the weather was sunny and warm and it felt like when you have arrived in a warm country exiting the cool aircraft.
In addition to the underground factory there is a over ground facility too with bunkers and other production facilities. We met a small angry snake – ‘snok’ – on the ground before we drove to our next destination.
Getting out through the rabbit hole. Time to check out the topside facilities