Jumping Towards the Future

Understanding the Remains of Ski Jumping Towers in Southern and Central Sweden


  • Magnus O. Ljunge Stockholm University




archaeology of modernity, archaeology of sports, material heritage of sport, modern monuments, ski jumping


Between the late nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century numerous ski-jumping towers were built all across Sweden. This accumulation of large, monumental sporting facilities occurred even though ski jumping never attracted large numbers of practitioners. The building of such towers in the southern and central parts of Sweden, where snowy winters are far from guaranteed, is of particular interest. Today, most of the ski-jumping towers in the southern half of Sweden have been torn down, but they have left a hidden and forgotten material heritage. This paper examines the abandoned places of ski jumping, where fragmented material remains give witness to a phenomenon that once was of central importance in shaping and expressing ideals and social identities in the modernization of Sweden. The ski jumps became arenas for a new and spectacular sport that drew large crowds, but they also became landmarks and monuments of progress and prosperity in the new modern age.


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Author Biography

Magnus O. Ljunge, Stockholm University

Magnus O. Ljunge Phd is a researcher at Stockholm University. His research interests span from Bronze Age visual culture to Iron Age burial practices and the material heritage of the contemporary past. Address for correspondence: Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7, 114 18 Stockholm, Sweden. 


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How to Cite

Ljunge, M. O. (2021). Jumping Towards the Future: Understanding the Remains of Ski Jumping Towers in Southern and Central Sweden. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 8(1), 112–137. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.42064