Tromsø, the biggest town in Arctic Norway, lies 344 km north of the Artic circle. This corresponds to the geographical latitude of northern Alaska! We had quite good weather and enjoyed our stay in a city after travelling for weeks through scarcely inhabited regions.
The yellow, wooden cathedral of Tromsø was built as a long church in the Gothic Revival style in 1861. It is notable since it is the only Norwegian cathedral made of wood and probably the northernmost Protestant cathedral in the world. With over 600 seats, it is one of Norway’s biggest wooden churches.
On the other side of the Tromsøysund lies the modern concrete and glass church of Tromsdalen also called Arctic Cathedral. It was already built in 1965.
Tromsø has a nice historic centre but also many modern buildings and shopping malls. We discovered that a network of streets lead under ground, with roundabouts and turn offs maybe even into underground parkings, a very suitable solution considering the climate.
Skansen fortress is the oldest building in the city and the ramparts are the only visible structures that have survived from the Middle Ages.
The Perspektivet Museum of photography showed currently an exhibition called “Born Free” by Dutch photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien. Over years she documented the new generation of South Africa bringing up the question if the dream of the Rainbow Nation ever came true, or if it is just a myth.
We went to visit Polaria, a small aquarium with a panoramic cinema where we saw films about Svalbard and Northern Lights. The building of the Polaria is supposed to represent ice floes that have been pressed up on land by the rough seas of the Arctic.
One of Norway’s most famous and successful seal hunting ships, the Polstjerna (T-80-T) has been preserved under glass next to the Polaria, but was currently not open.
Monument for Helmer Julius Hanssen (1870 – 1956), a Norwegian sailor, pilot and polar explorer. He participated in three of the polar expeditions led by Roald Amundsen and was one of the first five explorers to reach the South Pole.
After 3 days we left Tromsø again, but we will hopefully be back one day! We liked this lovely town surrounded by sea and islands, mountains and fjords. Our next destination is now the island of Senja south of Tromsø – more on our next posts!