Hjälmare Canal

Hjälmare Canal connects lake Hjälmaren and Arboga River and is also Sweden’s oldest man-made waterway. Construction on the canal began in 1639 and it demanded almost continual maintenance and repair work until 1819-1831 when a new canal was dug between the lake, Kvarnsjön and Arboga River.

The canal improved the trade routes between Örebro and Stockholm and it was still being used commercially in the 1970s. The importance of the canal to the business community in the local area can be seen in the statistics, e.g. from 1906, when in one shipping season lasting 229 days, 1,951 vessels passed through the canal. The canal traffic included steam boats, sailing boats, tug boats and barges in addition to passenger boats. Today all commercial traffic on the canal has ceased and it is now used purely for recreation.


The canal is 13.7 kilometers long and has nine locks. There is a height fall of 21.2 meters from the lake to Arboga river. At the locks in Hjälmare docks (Hjälmaredocka, Hällby) there is a collection of historical artifacts and photography documenting the canal’s history. The museum also has a cafe.

For further information, contact Svea Skog or the Hjälmare Canal Association (Hjälmare kanals vänner) or Arboga Tourist Information



Hjälmare Kanals Association

Svea skog

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