Røros (Southern Sami: Plassje) is a town and municipality in Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway. It is part of the Gauldalen region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Røros. Other villages include Brekken, Glåmos, Feragen, Galåa, and Hitterdalen.
The mining town of Røros is sometimes called Bergstaden which means "the rock town" due to its historical notoriety for copper mining. It is one of two towns in Norway that were historically designated "mining towns", along with the "silver-town" of Kongsberg. The modern-day inhabitants of Røros still work and live in the characteristic 17th and 18th century buildings which have led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Røros has about 80 wooden houses, most of them standing around courtyards. Many retain their dark pitch-log facades, giving the town a medieval appearance.
The 3.29-square-kilometre (1.27 sq mi) town of Røros has a population (2013) of 3,718. The population density of 1,130 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,900/sq mi). The town is the administrative center of the municipality of Røros. There are also two churches in the town: Røros Church and Røros Chapel.
The parish of Røros was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). On 1 January 1875, an unpopulated area of Ålen was transferred to Røros. On 1 January 1926, Røros was split into four municipalities: Røros (town), Røros landsogn, Brekken, and Glåmos. This left the town of Røros with 2,284 residents. On 1 January 1964, however, those four municipalities were merged back together under the name Røros. Prior to the merger, Røros (town) had 3,063 residents. On 21 April 1989, an unpopulated part of Røros was transferred to Holtålen.
The town is named after the old Røros farm ("Røraas" around 1530), since the town was built on its ground. The first element is the river name Røa and the last element is os meaning "mouth of a river" (the small river Røa runs into the great river Glåma here). The meaning of the river name Røa is unknown. There is no available interpretation of the Southern Sami name, Plassje.
The coat-of-arms is from modern times, they were adopted on 29 October 1992. The arms show an old copper symbol above two crossed mining tools in yellow on a red background.
The Church of Norway has four parishes (sokn) within the municipality of Røros. It is part of the Deanery (prosti) of Gauldal and the Diocese of Nidaros.
Røros municipality has been used by the Southern Sami people for reindeer herding up until today. Known for its copper mines, Røros is one of Norway's two nationally significant mining towns with activity starting in the 17th century (the other one being the "silver-town" Kongsberg, see Kongsberg Silver Mines).
Røros was burned to the ground in 1678 and 1679 by the Swedish Army during the Scanian War. In 1718, during the Great Northern War, the town was once again taken by the Swedish Army, led by General De la Barre, who made up the southern arm of the main Swedish Army under Carl Gustaf Armfeldt. De la Barre took the city and all their mined copper at gunpoint.
When King Carl XII was killed near Fredriksten on 30 November 1718, De la Barre retreated north to join the bulk of the army. However, this ended in tragedy, when over 3,000 rather unprepared soldiers perished in the harsh weather conditions in the mountains northwest of Røros.
Røros and its people were made famous to Norwegians at the turn of the 20th century by semi-fictional author Johan Falkberget, who told the story of the mining community from the perspective of the hard-tested miners at the bottom of the social ladder. With its authentic wooden buildings, Røros was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1980.
In 1644, the general manager of the mine at Kongsberg gave permission to exploit one lode of copper in the mountains near Rauhaammaaren. Storvola and Gamle Storwartz became some of the company’s most important mines. Nordgruve, another important mining area, was situated to the north east of Røros.
Starting in 1740 and onwards was a period of greatness for the Røros Copper Works with several mines yielding well. Dynamite was utilized from 1870 and later drilling machines. The electrical generating station built high-tension power lines to supply the mines starting in 1897. The Bessemer process was introduced at the end of the 1800s. The Rørosbanen railway line was completed in 1877. High prices for both copper and zinc gave good results, but then the prices dropped and there were several years with large losses. After 333 years, mining activity in Røros ceased in 1977.
During winter, a traditional market called "Rørosmartnan" is organized and that draws an average of 60,000–70,000 tourists each year. The market begins on the last Tuesday in February and lasts five days. There is also an outdoor musical theatre performance played in Røros to commemorate the tragedy when the Swedish soldiers froze to death. This show has been played since 1994.
Røros is located on a gently sloping plateau about 630 metres (2,070 ft) above sea level that is forested with mostly birch and some pine, but the tree line is never far away. The largest lake within the municipality is Aursund and the river Glåma has its origin here. The most northerly part of Femund, the third largest lake in Norway, is located in Røros, just west of Femundsmarka National Park. These lakes and others in Røros, such as Bolagen and Flensjøen, are well suited for kayaking and fishing. Other lakes include Feragen, Håsjøen, Rambergsjøen, Korssjøen, Nedre Roasten, Rogen, and Rien.
Røros has a subarctic climate. Mostly sheltered from oceanic influences, and located at ca 650 m amsl, Røros has recorded the coldest temperatures in the southern half of Norway with −50.3 °C (−58.5 °F) in early January 1914. In the European cold snap of January 2010 temperatures reached −42 °C (−44 °F). The heat record 30.7 °C (87.3 °F) was recorded July 2008. Skiing conditions in winter are usually excellent, with the period from February to April as the optimum, as the sun is higher and the days longer than earlier in winter. The largest snow depth recorded in Røros is 200 cm in March 1956. In more recent years, 87 cm snow on the ground was recorded in March 2009. Snow on the ground is virtually guaranteed in Røros from December to early April. Early May 1997 saw 76 cm snow on the ground (source: eklima/met.no).
Haugan, an unincorporated settlement situated 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Røros Airport, is the location of a weather station operated by the Norwegian Meteorologist institute. (Norwegian: Meteorologisk institutt).
All the record lows are old, the most recent (December) from 1978, while 7 of the monthly records highs are from year 2000 and later.
The town is served by the railway line Rørosbanen at Røros Station and Røros Airport both have a scheduled service to Oslo. The Rv30 road connects south to Tynset and northwest down the Gaula valley towards Trondheim. There is also the RV705 road going north to Selbu and Stjørdal, and the road Rv31 going east to Sweden.