Järnboden - art gallery

Harg, Östhammar

Järnboden – located just 2 km southeast of Hargs Bruk – is a five-storey stone building dating from the late 1750s that was erected by 18th century master builder Raphael Claesson Pousette.

The ground floor was used to warehouse bar iron until it was shipped to the iron scales (Järnvågen) in Stockholm, while the upper floors served as storage space for goods acquired from outside means, particularly grain for the ironworks inhabitants.

Parallel with the ironworks industry, sawmills grew in strength by the end of the 1800s and eventually took over Hargs Bruk, which ended its bar iron forging in 1921. A railway line near the saw mill – which was situated near Nedre Hammaren (the lower hammer) – was used to ship both bar iron and timber to Järnboden. The timber was stored in the lumberyard outside of Järnboden while awaiting further shipping, which at that time was done via barges to waiting ships since the continual uplift of the land made loading and unloading at the original wharf impossible. Ruins of the old barges can still be seen just south of Järnboden.
Järnboden is owned by Hargs Bruk AB – a company with a history dating back to the 1600s. The entire ironworks was burned to the ground during Russian pillaging in 1719. It was rebuilt in the 1730s by the war council and baron Eric Oxenstierna. The current manor house was erected between 1762 and 1765 based on drawings by Elias Kessler.

Contemporary art has been put on display in the iron warehouse since 1982. Dutch artist Pieter de Groot Boersma and his friends began the art exhibition work and many different arrangers have since put their mark on the exhibitions in Järnboden. Hargs Bruk with manor house, surrounding buildings and woodlands are private property and are not open to the public.