Welcome to the deeper regions of the Earth
The Tytyri Mine Experience is a unique and multi-faceted travel destination 110 metres below ground level, combining the Nordkalk mining industry, Kone’s top-class technological development, and the adventure and thrills of a travel destination. Tytyri, which is in the middle of Lohja town, has been mined for chalk since 1897. Limestone mining still continues at Tytyri, at a depth of 370 metres, in Nordkalk’s mining operations. Nordkalk has been in the Rettig family for generations.
One of the most heavily-mined tunnel networks, the 110-metre level, was opened to the public as a mine museum in 1988. Since then, the public has had a wonderful opportunity to see this fascinating underground world, arranged by the Town of Lohja. Although the dark and humid museum area is filled with underground sounds, it is a very safe distance from the excavation work, which is much deeper down.
In 1998, the Finnish elevator manufacturer KONE found an excellent spot in a disused mineshaft in Tytyri for testing its High rise lifts, which are installed in many skyscrapers worldwide. This is how Tytyri mine came to have state-of-the-art elevator technology, the product of Finnish engineering expertise, in a 300-metre mineshaft. Now Finland’s fastest elevator is coming to the Mine Experience.
What all the operators in the Tytyri mine have in common is expertise in their own field, and a high regard for safety in their use of the unique spaces offered by this fascinating environment deep within the Finnish bedrock. We are proud to be able to offer visitors to Tytyri the unique Mine Experience. Welcome to the deeper regions of the Earth.
TYTYRI’S INDUSTRIAL HISTORY
The riches contained in the bedrock have been the foundation of Lohja’s prosperity and growth, and are at the heart of the area’s industry.
The history of mining work in the region goes way back to 1542, when the king of the then Swedish Empire, Gustav I, granted the lagman Eerik Fleming the right to mine for iron ore in Ojamo in Lohja. Ojamo is one of the oldest iron mines in Finland. From the seventeenth to the nineteenth century, Ojama and many other mines operated throughout the Lohja area, but the ore was often very low in iron content and of poor quality. Iron ore was mined periodically at Ojamo up until 1862.
Mining in its modern form began in Lohja in 1897, when the limestone that is plentiful in the region began to find industrial uses. That was the year that a sea captain from the Särkisalo area, Karl Forsström, founded a lime kiln that was the first part of the enterprise that would over the years grow to become one of Finland’s largest companies, Oy Lohja Ab. The mining operations were partly transferred underground in 1947, when a crushing plant was opened at the 110-metre level. The massive boulders excavated on the surface were dropped down the shaft, being smashed into more manageable pieces in the process. The mining operations went completely underground in 1956.
Today, drilling and explosives work are carried out at Tytyri at a depth of 350 metres. The network of tunnels beneath the Lake, and partly beneath the town are over 60 kilometres long in total. Tytyri Mine Museum was opened in May 1988, the brainchild and hard work of engineer Carl Fredrik Bäckström, a former manager of the mine.
The corridors of the Tytyri mine intersect at a depth of almost 400 metres beneath Lake Lohja and the town. The entire tunnel network is over 60 kilometres long. In more than 100-year history of limestone mining at Tytyri, the annual yield has at its best been one million tonnes. And there is enough limestone left to keep the mine going for decades yet.
Nowadays Tytyri mine is owned by Nordkalk Oy Ab. Nordkalk is Northern Europe’s leading supplier of limestone-based products. Crushed, powdered, screened, and burned limestone, and burned and quenched chalk, are marketed under the Nordkalk name in Finland, Sweden, the Baltic countries, and Poland. Paper pigment is also produced through a subsidiary, Suomen Karbonaatti Oy. Kone also has an elevator testing facility in Tytyri.
The relationship with KONE came about naturally, since the Tytyri Mine Experience is close to KONE’s elevator-testing laboratory. Deep in the earth, the company is developing new, state-of-the-art elevator solutions in highly demanding conditions, at depths of as much as 300 metres. This pioneering work at Tytyri leads to the creation of new elevator innovations that KONE will some day get to use to carry passengers as high as one kilometre up in the skyscrapers of the future.
This is all part of KONE’s aim of making cities better places to live. KONE is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of elevators and escalators, and also creates solutions for maintenance and modernisation of these systems for the entire life cycle of buildings. KONE makes getting around in the world’s highest and smartest buildings safe, fun, and dependable.