Hammerfest, Norway, lays claim to being the northernmost "town" in the world, with over 9,000 inhabitants at a latitude of 70° 39' 48". There are some villages farther north, but none larger than 2000 people. Hammerfest is one of the capitals of Sami (also known as Lapp or Lapplander) culture.
The first church in Hammerfest was built in the 17th. c. In 1789, Hammerfest was issued its city charter, to promote trade and prosperity in the north. In 1790, Hammerfest sent its first hunting expedition to Svalbard, and the city was a pioneer in arctic trapping, although Tromsø took over by around 1850. In 1809, British forces burned and sacked the city as part of their blockade policy. During the 19th c., Hammerfest flourished as a minuscule trade centre exporting fish to Russia. In 1891, a devastating fire flattened the city. As part of the reconstruction, the city was the first in Europe to install electric street lamps. In 1945, the city was again destroyed, this time as part of the German occupiers' scorched earth policy. Post war prosperity was ensured by the big Findus fish processing factory; that is now history. At the turn of the millennium, Hammerfest became an important base for gas extraction.
Despite being the oldest city in the north of Norway, there is precious little history. The city was destroyed by the British in 1809, by a devastating fire in 1891 and by the Germans in 1945.
The Arctic Open - beach vollyball tournament - July The Beer Festival - July Music Festival - August The Blue Season Festival: Concert Theatre Festival - November
Join the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Club.
There is daily ferry to Akkarfjord at the Soroya island, where there are possibilities for one- or two-day hikes.
Odds Mat og Vinhus (Odd's Food and Wine) There is a rather large Co-op supermarket near the city centre.