city in the lan (county) of Norrbotten, northern Sweden. It is situated north of the Arctic Circle on the eastern shore of Lake Luossa and between the rich iron-ore Kiruna and Luossa mountains. Kiruna was founded in 1899 with the extension of the railroad from Gallivare, and in 1908 it became a municipality. Having incorporated more than 7,980 square miles (20,669 square km) in 1948, it claimed to be the world's largest city in area. Mining, the principal industry, developed rapidly after a railroad linked Kiruna with the port of Narvik, Nor., in 1902. Inhabited in part by Sami (Lapps), the area has a church (1912) that is shaped like a large Sami hut. Esrange, Europe's only civilian rocket base, lies 28 miles (45 km) east of Kiruna. Pop. (2005 est.) mun., 23,135.
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