The gateway to the Arctic Ocean
Archaeological finds show settlements 9000 years back in time. In 1252, Håkon Håkonsson built the first church in Tromsø, it stood on Tromsøya, and was then the world’s northernmost church. In 1789, the Bergen trade monopoly was abolished, and people in northern Norway could trade with whomever they wanted.
In 1794, Tromsø was granted city status by Christian VII, at this time about 80 people lived here. From that time, merchants moved from near and far here.
Tromsøværingen has always been out early with the follow-up of international fashions and trends, so that a German traveler who visited Tromsø at the turn of the century was clearly impressed with the city and its fashionable ladies: “This must be the Paris of the North!” he said, and thus the city was one nickname richer.
The first ship went to the Arctic Ocean in 1820, and from 1850 Tromsø was Norway’s leading Arctic Ocean city. Arctic fishing became an important industry for Tromsø.
Visitors in the 19th century were often very surprised by education, language skills and culture in Tromsø, and a visiting German called the city Nordic Paris, while Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson reported to his Karoline that “here is only champagne and spectacle”.
Several expeditions have gone from Tromsø to the Arctic. Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile and Fridtjof Nansen often visited Tromsø regarding their expeditions. The city was also nicknamed the “Gateway to the Arctic Ocean” which is well known and well used about the Arctic Ocean city. This is based on the fact that most polar expeditions started in Tromsø, and that the Arctic Ocean catch is part of the city’s history.
Tromsø is a popular meeting place and has grown to become a modern urban municipality with a colorful and energetic population from all over the country and over a hundred different countries. The city is accessible by plane, car, bus or boat and is located at almost 70 degrees North.
Tromsø is Norway’s third largest urban municipality by area (2,558 km²), of which 1,434 on the mainland and 1,124 on islands. The municipality has a total coastline of 1,275 kilometers. The municipality has about 65,000 inhabitants (2008).
Tromsøya is connected to the mainland by the 1016 m long Tromsø bridge and the approx. 3500 m long Tromsøysund tunnel under Tromsøsundet and connected to Kvaløya with the 1220 m long Sandnessund bridge.
Tromsø boasts the world’s northernmost university and brewery (Mack). The experiences in Tromsø have a wide range – rock climbing in the midnight sun, fishing trips on land or water, downhill skiing, dog walks, as well as several “world’s northernmost” activities such as visits to brewery pubs, outdoor restaurants!
We wish you a memorable stay in Tromsø!