From radio station to smartphone

Radio means being wireless. Although the word is probably most associated with music, news and sport reports, radio actually refers to using radio waves to wirelessly transmit information from one place to another. So our mobile phones and home networks also use radio waves, although we don’t always think of it that way.

The foundations for this communication method were laid in the late-nineteenth century, and when Grimeton Radio Station was completed in 1924, it was far from the only station of its kind. During the same period, similar facilities for wirelessly transmitting text-based messages, and in due course phone calls and pictures, to other countries were being built around the world. However, development was rapid and old technology soon gave way to new.

For various reasons, Grimeton Radio Station escaped the fate of being scrapped and demolished that befell many other such facilities. Instead, both the buildings and the transmitter system for which the radio station was originally built were preserved. As a result, Grimeton Radio Station is now a unique and well-preserved example of the technological advances made in the first half of the twentieth century, on which our modern wireless technology builds.

In recognition of this, and the “particularly high universal value” it is considered to possess, Grimeton Radio Station was added to the list of World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in 2004. The fact that a radio station from the 1920s can be given the same status as ancient monuments or huge natural formations is due to the fact that world heritage sites should reflect the history of the earth and of humankind in a variety of ways. The basis for this is the World Heritage Convention, which was adopted in 1972 to help protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage. It was ratified by Sweden in 1985. New world heritage sites are added every year and there are currently 1,154 of them, 15 of which are in Sweden.

Criterion (ii) Grimeton Radio Station, Varberg is an outstanding monument representing the process of development of communication technology in the period following the First World War.

Criterion (iv) Grimeton Radio Station, Varberg is an exceptionally well preserved example of a type of telecommunication centre, representing the technological achievements by the early 1920s, as well as documenting the further development over some three decades.

Världsarvskommitén, Suzhou Kina, juli 2004

From Royal Telegraph Agency to private foundation

Grimeton Radio Station has been owned by the Grimeton World Heritage Foundation since 2003. The foundation was set up by Telia to take over the care and maintenance of the site and to work toward making it accessible to the public.

In addition to the founder, the board includes representatives from Varberg Municipality, Halland County Council and Region Halland.

The Grimeton World Heritage Foundation has overall responsibility for managing the site for the benefit of future generations. Despite the foundation’s role as a successor to the now incorporated Telegraph Agency, Grimeton Radio Station is no longer state-owned.

. Its day-to-day running therefore depends on, among other things, income from equity and commercial radio activities. As a result of the latter, we are still an active center for radio communications and offer services in this field.

The public activities are run by the subsidiary company Världsarvet Grimeton AB. This part is entirely self-financed and is made possible by income from visitors.
Other stakeholders also contribute to the World Heritage Site activities, including our partner association Alexander, which helps us pass on knowledge about the old transmitter system via courses and documentation.

A sustainable world heritage site

These activities should create the best possible conditions for future management based on current conditions. For Grimeton Radio Station, this mission statement is formulated as follows:

  • That the qualities that brought it to the World Heritage List are preserved, strengthened and communicated without negative impact on our world.
  • That the site is a living world heritage site and a resource of global importance, linking the present with the past through good radio communication skills.
  • Making World Heritage accessible so that its values touch, engage and unite people around the world.

Since 2020, Sweden has had a national strategy for World Heritage work. The Swedish National Heritage Board, in collaboration with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish UNESCO Council and in dialog with other world heritage stakeholders, has developed a strategy. In addition to UNESCO’s requirements and recommendations, the strategy is based on national environmental and cultural policy objectives.

In line with this strategy, the World Heritage Grimeton Radio Station is working on several of the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda and is constantly striving to improve. The pursuit of sustainability is a common thread in the various projects carried out on the site, but also permeates the activities of its various branches in general.

It is now widely known that world heritage sites can attract visitors. Similarly, it is known that unsustainable development of the tourist industry can have a negative impact on the value of a site. As a result, UNESCO has been actively working since the early 2010s to ensure that world heritage sites adopt sustainable visitor management strategies.

Our values

The World Heritage Site Grimeton Radio Station’s employees and others working in and for the World Heritage Site are subject to the fundamental values that underpin the entire UN project: democracy, human rights, tolerance, equality, gender equality, freedom of opinion and expression and, not least, the ability to influence!

Everyone – employees as well as customers, suppliers and visitors – should be treated with respect regardless of gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other beliefs, disability, sexual orientation or age. Politeness and helpfulness are key words.

These three core value pairs are the guiding principles for our activities and the choice of collaborations, activities and partners:

  • Inspiring & Knowledgeable
  • Inclusive & Open
  • Live & Long-term



Världsarvet Grimeton bedriver flertalet projekt i syfte att utveckla den publika verksamheten. Det kan röra sig om enstaka mindre kulturevenemang till större permanenta satsningar. Några av projekten är avslutade medan andra fortfarande pågår.

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