Can you imagine a city located 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle being called “Mediterranean of Scandinavia”? Or “Paris of the Arctic”?
|Tromso, Norway is surprisingly beautiful and vibrant--with a
somewhat temperate climate.
When you visit Tromso you’ll discover why all of those names fit the city. It has a vibrant cultural scene with an international population thanks to universities and research facilities. Tromso is a cultural center for the region and hosts numerous film and music festivals each year. It’s also one of the best places to see Aurora Borealis, attracting people who come to witness a Northern Lights spectacle between mid-August and late April.
|The Tromso Bridge is a notable landmark connecting the continental
and island sections of the city.
Partly located on the small island of Tromsoya, the city is actually larger than the country of Luxemburg. There is also a continental part of Tromso that is only two hours from Finland, a country with a considerably colder climate.Architecture of Tromso
Tromso is known for its large concentration of historic wooden houses, including Tromso Cathedral, built in 1861, Norway’s only wooden cathedral and the most northerly Protestant church in the world. The oldest house in Tromso dates to 1789. After 1904 wood houses were banned, probably in reaction to a large fire the same year in Alesund that destroyed more than 800 wooden buildings.
|The Arctic Cathedral is a glorious
contemporary structure showcasing
an architecturally interesting design.
More to see
|We rode the cable car to a
mountain ledge for stunning
views of the city and landscape.
Other interesting facts: Tromso is home to the world’s northernmost mosque and the seat of the world’s northernmost Catholic bishop. Norway’s oldest cinema, Verdensteatret, is still in use in Tromso and hosts an international film festival each fall. The Polar Museum, located in a restored 1837 customs house, pays tribute to Tromso’s historical role as a launching point for numerous Arctic expeditions. It was the only city in northern Norway that totally avoided war damage during World War II.Flowers galore
|Even in the Arctic, flowers bloom in a lovely botanic setting.
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier