Monday, 13 April 2015

Sortland, the lucky blue town of Norway

Surrounded by the astonishing landscape of Arctic Norway, Sortland is a northern entrance door to the Lofoten Islands; this previously rather ugly fishery town is changing colours for a new life.

Sortland is an arctic town located at the mouth of the Eidsfjorden, in the Nordland region of Norway.

An elegant bridge (Sortladsbrua) almost 1 km long connects since 1975 Sortland to Hinnøya, the main of the Lofoten Islands.

Cruise ships as well as the Hurtigruten daily express usually stop at Sortland's harbour.

Sortland is sometimes referred to as "the blue city", since some painted blue houses inspired a local artist to expand the colour to other buildings.

Blåbyen, the Blue City.

Coordinates:  68° 42′ N, 15° 16′ E

Population:   ~10 000 inhabitants.

Some people are less than thrilled by the idea of a blue town. Others are fascinated by the artist’s vision. The idea of having a full-on blue town evidently makes some people furious.

The man behind the idea is the artist Bjørn Elvenes, who envisaged the centre of Sortland as a three-dimensional painting.

At least, this is a project that stimulates lively debate.

Of course, Sortland's church was not one of the 'blue paint' victims.

The current church was built to replace a church from 1776. The present, white, wooden church was built in 1902 in the neo-gothic style.

In Spring and Summer, other colours embellish the possible blue monotony.

But the main attractive of this northern town is the Midnight Sun, occurring from May to July. The Sortland Bridge or the surrounding fjords are great places to observe the dim-light nights.

And of course Auroras are also frequently observed here:

A magnificent Aurora over Sortland's lights.