Hammerfest, Kvaløya / Norway
Hammerfest is a 7,000-inhabitant port city on the Norwegian island Kvalöy in West Finnmark. For a long time it was considered the northernmost city in the world until in the 1990s it yielded the position to Honningsvag. The city foundation goes back to the year 1789.In 1819 began here the exact measurement of the world of which still remembers the Meridian Column at the harbor. The port is, thanks to its ideal sheltered location, ice-free all year-round The most important branch is the fishing industry, particularly whale catching.
From the 80-m-high lookout hill of Salen visitors are offered beautiful view of the bay with its many colorful wooden houses. Up here, as well as on the outskirts of the city one encounters in summer flocks of reindeer. Also worth visiting is the Church of St. Michael, built by German volunteers, inside which one can admire a mosaic consisting of around 10,000 single items. Hammerfest's Gjenreisningsmuseet ("Reconstruction Museum") informs about the destruction of World War II and the subsequent reconstruction. In town hall resides the so-called Royal Polar Bear club, counting already more than 200,000 people. Each visitor to the exhibition about the history of the city, the Arctic Ocean and whale catching can become a member with a one-time contribution.