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  • Photographer: Gaby Karlsson Hain

Ronja - the robber's daughter

  • Source: The book "När Ronja Rövardotter blev film" written by Tage Danielsson 1984

We well remember the scenes around Mattisborgen where Ronja and Birk jump, climb and run over the cliffs above the lake surrounded by coniferous forest. "Typically Sweden" you think when you see the landscape. Yes, typically Dalsland - a Sweden in miniature.

Ronja - the robber's daughter (Ronja Rövardotter in Swedish), the movie about the girl who breaks away from her robber father and becomes independent. Most people have seen, or at least heard of, this classic written by famous Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.

What not everyone knows, however, is that many scenes from this Swedish film classic were filmed in Dalsland, more specifically in Åmål municipality!


Mattis castle (Mattisborgen)

Mattisborgen is recorded on the mountain Sörknatten, or at least parts of it. The scenes where the entire castle is shown are actually a miniature in the picture and this was built up in Norsk Film's studio outside Oslo. The castle was in some parts made of styrofoam which was painted.

However, the scenes where the robbers run out of the castle are filmed on the mountain. With the help of a miniature that was placed in front of the "real" castle and a little trick filming, it was possible to make it look like more of the castle was there for real.

The castle courtyard is also recorded in Åmål. It was built up at the quartz quarry at Bläsen in the autumn and the crew came back in the winter when everything was covered in snow. The quartz quarry is still active today and there is an information board on site where you can see how it was built.

The hell gap (Helvetsgapet)

Mattisborgen broke in half in the middle of the night Ronja was born and formed Helvetsgapet. This is what Ronja and Birk jump back and forth over. It was recorded on Vingnäsberget not far from Sörknatten.
The upper part of the crack is filmed here, while the wide images over the entire crack with only the sky in the background are filmed in Sundbyberg in Stockholm, on a rooftop.

Many believe that Helvetetsgapet was filmed at Kungsklyftan in Fjällbacka, but this is not true. However, the Wolf Clamp (Vargklämman) from the film is filmed there.


The Bear cave (Björngrottan)

When Ronja ran from home, she stayed at the bear cave. Björngrottan is also recorded at Sörknatten, near the pulpit. Only the outside though. The inside is recorded next to a gas station in Gröndal in Stockholm, in SF's small studio.


About the area

About 30 km southwest of Åmål is Sörknatten Nature Reserve. Here you can walk along the mountain of the same name and enjoy an unbeatable view over the lakes. The map of the area can be found here!

 

Sources

Tage Danielsson, who directed the film Ronja Rövardotter, wrote a book called "När Ronja Rövardotter blev film" (When Ronja - the robber's daughter became a film), published by Wahlström & Widstrand in 1984. Other film locations in the film are Glupafallet (Ristafallet) in western Jämtland, river stretches at Gaustfallet in northern Jämtland, in the area of Blåsjön and at Ristafallet near Åreskutan. A riding scene was also recorded in Dalsland - at Åsmule in Mellerud municipality. The special spring cry Vårskriket was recorded on Hallands Väderö, but there was some shouting on Sörknatten as well!