Limhamn’s kalkbrott (limestone quarry) is an impressive man-made geological feature of Malmö that was once the largest open-pit mine in northern Europe. The scale of the place has to be seen to be believed, and the views combined with the surrounding nature, make it a favourite place to hike or bike.
Measuring 1300 meters long, 800 meters wide and 65 meters deep, the quarry produced lime used in the manufacture of cement from 1866 to 1994. The blasting technique employed to mine the limestone created a series of steppes separated by 20-metre high vertical drops, giving the quarry walls their unusual appearance.
Once active mining was discontinued, the kalkbrott was essentially abandoned for 16 years while local authorities debated plans for how to best utilise it. In the meantime, the fresh groundwater that seeps into the massive pit is still being continually pumped out into the Öresund to prevent it from becoming a lake. Over the years, Mother Nature has steadily reclaimed the area and by 2010 it had been designated a nature reserve.
Today there are over 2000 different species of animals, plants and fungi found in the quarry and the surrounding area, several of them rare or special in some way. For safety reasons, access to the kalkbrott itself is limited to (free) guided tours that must be booked in advance through the Malmö city website. However, there are many excellent viewing spots on the well-maintained trail that runs for four kilometres along the rim, so wear comfy shoes and don’t forget your camera!