Axmar was the site of one of several ironworks located along the coast north of Gävle. It was built in the 1670s. Ships would arrive with iron ore and depart with iron ingots.
10,000 years ago, much of Sweden was covered with glaciers many kilometers thick. With the disappearance of those glaciers, the land in Sweden has been continually rising. The area around Axmar has risen approximately 70 cm in the last 100 years relative to the sea level. This means that bays and landing places are always becoming shallower. In the late 1600s, for instance, ships could access far into the harbor, but over time ships were forced to moor further from shore. On the islands around Axmar, you can still see the mooring rings fixed to the rocks near the water's edge. They were used to hold the bigger cargo ships fast, while cargo was loaded into or from smaller barges.
The land rise also meant that smaller skerries or other obstacles grew into islands or shallows which made it increasingly difficult for vessels to move about. Many ships were scrapped or abandoned and many lie in such shallow water that they can be seen from the surface!
In Axmar, Sjöhistoriska museet, the Gävleborg County Museum and others developed a different type of Diving for Non-Divers. Through the website www.axmarbluepark.se you can learn about Axmar's wrecks, as well as plant and animal life within the park. There are guides with pictures, text and map positions, which you can take with you on foot, boat or even skates!