The lock at Köpmannebro is the first one of the Dalsland canal. It leads from Vänern into the lake Svanefjorden. When the lock is open you can visit the lock café and eat icecream.
Lock chambers: 1
Elevation: 0,1 m
Duration: 10 minutes
Length: 35,6 m
Width: 7,1 m
Depth: 3,2 m.
Dalsland Canal begins at Köpmannebro lock station. Immediately downstream of the lock, a swing bridge with a 2,25 m clearance crosses the canal. The lock is the largest in Dalsland Canal, with the same dimensions as the Göta Canal.
North of the lock is a road bridge with a 12,7 m clearance. Boats coming from the north should contact the lock keeper to open the bridge from the call station at the bridge pier.
Photographer: Emma Augustsson
When the lock is open, so is the café. Here you can eat the canal icecream, drink coffee and lock at the boats.
Köpmannebro is the gateway to Dalsland Canal. Here, you will find the canal’s first and largest lock. It is as big as the locks in the Göta Canal, but with a level difference of only one metre. Unlike most of the other lock stations along the canal, there has never been any major industry here. One possible exception was a small factory for turpentine distillation in the early 1900s.
During World War II, exciting things were happening in Köpmannebro. The studio of bird taxidermist Gustaf Kihlén was designated for important meetings between the Norwegian government, then stationed in London, and the Norwegian delegation in Stockholm. The secret meetings were aimed at combating the German occupation in Norway.
In 1938, a new port was inaugurated in Köpmannehamn, in Lake Vänern just outside Köpmannebro. After quite long and lengthy discussions, it was finally built on Musdragsholmen. The idea was that the smaller canal boats could unload onto larger Vänern ships for onward transport to Gothenburg. However, this didn’t quite work out. World War II made it expensive to buy fuel for the ships, the factory in Dalsland signed cheaper contracts with the railway companies and the port in Köpmannehamn was located on an island without any land connections. They hadn’t foreseen the importance road transport would come to have. By the 1950s, the port had died away and became a marina for pleasure boats.