Sunday, 7 January 2018

Gamvik, village and museum on the extreme North of Norway

At 71ºN, this coastal village has the northernmost museum and church in continental Norway (in Svalbard island, farther up into the Arctic, there are churches and museums). As one could guess, this is also the most depressed and poorly cared for region of Norway.

is a fishing village in Finnmark county, Norway, located on its northern shore along the Barents Sea. Once thriving of fishing and whaling activity, Gamvik declined dramatically after the fish factory closed. But it's a charming little coastal village.

Gamvik has been progressively abadonned in recent years, several houses are for sale. Maybe some tourism could help.

The village was historically only accessible by boat, but due to the poor harbour conditions it lost the ferry connection in favour of the neighbouring Mehamn. In the 1970s, Gamvik Airport was built and in the 1980s, Norwegian Road 888 started linking Mehamn to Gamvik.

The Old Norse form of the name may have been Gangvík. The first element is then gangr which means "path" and the last element is vík which means "cove" or "wick".

Lonely house in Gamvik: it could be in Greenland...

Gamvik, Norway

: 71° 02′ N, 27° 51′ E
:  ~ 1400 (municipality)

The church, the school and the museum are the main buildings. The building quality is under average for Norway.

A herd of reindeer wandering through town.

Kids from Gamvik municipality bring life to the local school.

Brygga, the old pier in decay.

Gamvik old church

Gamvik Church, 1958, on the site of several previous churches.

The northernmost church in mainland Europe.

The altar, baptistery and pulpit.

The organ gallery and a votive ship (kirkeskip) honouring Gamvik seamen.

The Museum

Housed in an old fish factory, the restored "Brodtkorbbruket", and facing the Barents Sea, the Gamvik Museum is an authentic framework for the history of the fishing industry and coastal culture.

The Museum was founded in 1978 with a collecting of photographs and artifacts, revealing the turbulent history of Nordkyn.

Pomor trade items.

'Pomor' is the trade carried out between the Pomors of Northwest Russia and the people along the coast of Northern Norway. It dates back to the Viking Age and the Middle Age.

The exhibition is extended outside:

Tradtional large 'A' frame used for hanging cod on to dry.

The expedition vessel "Gamvik" was built in 1971. It was the last major wooden boat used to shuttle goods and passengers between Gamvik's quay and the Hurtigrutan ferry.

The "pramma", as it was commonly called, played an important part in the economic and social life of the communities. In bad weather, passengers had to go to the "sail" - a kind of basket in sailcloth - which was then taken on board. The "pramma" was in use up to 1990.

The vessel was given in 1991 from the shipping company to Gamvik municipality; later it was decided that the vessel was to be landed at Gamvik Museum.

Slettnes Lighthouse
, 71° 05′ N

Built in 1905, and located about 3 km north of Gamvik, this is the northernmost lighthouse on continental Europe, also known as the 'North Cape Light'. The round cast iron tower is 39 metres high. It has been declared an heritage site and provides tourist lodging.