"The Paris of The North"
69 deg. 40' North
Area: 960 square miles
Population: 55,000
The Northern Lights
dancing across Tromsø's skies.

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On this page, I will try to paint a picture of what Tromsø, North Norway, is like, through words and some pictures that I have taken. Looking at them, you might think that I had to drive long distances from my home to take these photos. Not so. All of the places photographed are within a 5-30 minute's drive from my home; most are within a 10-minute's drive. This is where, during the indescribably beautiful North Norwegian summers, I go for walks in The Midnight Sun, and stand in awe of the dancing Aurora Borealis, right outside my door, during the long, cold, and dark Polar Night.

Upon learning that I moved from Los Angeles to Norway, to NORTH NORWAY, no less, to a place called "Tromsø", to live on a tiny island located approximately 450 miles north of the Arctic Circle , people's first reaction is usually, "ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?" And well they may ask. But the answer is a definitive, loud and resounding, "Nope, I think not." These pictures will show you why it wasn't difficult to give up sitting in 2-hour long traffic jams on L.A.'s freeways, filling my lungs with polluted air, fearing for my life while walking down a busy street in broad daylight, and trying to keep up with the ratrace-paced life in that city.

Tromsø's skies have
their own color palette.

When I'm out in and a part of Tromsø's fantastic nature, I feel the power and majesty of Creation; I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that there is a God who created all of this and everything else that is beautiful.

After a long, dark, and hard winter, with the Polar Night lasting from November 25 until January 21, the sun makes its return to Tromsø and is welcomed by one and all!

The sun's first appearance in Tromsø
on January 23, lighting up the sky with fire!

And then it doesn't take long for the days to get longer. Once again, the color of the sky is a wonder to behold.

A late winter day in Tromsø,
around Easter.

Sometimes it's difficult to see where
the sky leaves off and the water begins.
The snow-capped mountains help.

When spring finally arrives, the farms in the area abound with new-born lambs frolicking around.

Spring lambs at play.

North Norway's summers must be experienced (though the weather can sometimes be less than "summerish"). The Midnight Sun lasts from May 21 until July 23, though the days are already light all day and all night from approximately mid- to late April. There are wildflowers everywhere!

Summer flowers in the foreground, while the
die-hard winter snows still cap the mountains
surrounding Tromsø Island.

The summer doesn't last long enough; The Midnight Sun slowly gives way to spectacular sunsets, some multi-colored, some almost iridescent.

The last vestiges of The Midnight Sun,
reluctant to leave Tromsø.

Autumn in Tromsø, when Mother Earth changes her wardrobe. The colors are vibrant: purples, reds, yellows, browns. The color of the sky can vary, from grey to azure blue. Now is the time for picking wild berries and mushrooms.

A cool fall day, with the trees ablaze.

The weather can be very unpredictable, no matter what time of year. Rainstorms are not uncommon, and the skies take on yet another, almost mystical, appearance.

A "sepia day" in Tromsø, after a
mid-August electrical storm

Tromsø has been a church center for North Norway since 1252 AD. It has a long history as being the central hub for connections to the east and as the center for the Pomor Trade with Russia.

The town charter was issued in 1794 and Tromsø was granted a long sought-after trade independece.

From 1840 until about 1880, Tromsø experienced a boom period. It became the administrative, commercial and educational center for North Norway.

During the period from 1850 until 1930, Tromsø was the starting point for many research and hunting expeditions (i.e. Amundsen and Nobile). It was given the nickname "Gateway to the Arctic".

In addition to its breathtaking nature and scenery, Tromsø also offers a variety of other experiences. Called "The Paris of The North", it has, per capita, more eating establishments, nightclubs, etc. than any other city in Europe. And most of them are concentrated on the tiny island of Tromsø, which is approximately 26 kilometers in circumference.

Tromsø also sports the University of Tromsø, the northernmost university in the world. It is also the home of the northernmost brewery, Mack's, as well as a gigantic, new, ultra-modern hospital which serves all of North Norway.

The island of Tromsø is connected to the mainland by a bridge that was completed in 1960. The population grew and the bridge was not able to accomodate all the traffic. In 1994, a tunnel was completed, connecting the island to the mainland. Tromsø is connected to another island, Kvaløya, by means of another large bridge. In 1964, Tromsø's Langnes Airport went into operation.

Here you will also find the Tromsų Geophysical Observatory - the Auoral Observatory and the Roald Amundsen Center for Arctic Research. Tromsø is the center for polar research. The University of Tromsø, in cooperation with the Norwegian Research Council, is responsible for the Norwegian involvement in EISCAT (European Incoherent Scatter), an organization for studies of the upper polar atmosphere. The EISCAT-radar facility at Ramfjordmoen and the rocket-launching station on Andøya Island represent the world's most-important concentration of modern facilities for studies of the polar atmosphere and the Northern Lights. A similar radar station is now being built near Longyearbyen on Svalbard, and is expected to be completed and in operation during 1996.

Tromsø Satellite Station (TSS) is a Department of the Norwegian Space Center and a national reeiving station for the earth observation satellites NPAA, ERS-1 and JERS-1. Data from these satellites is used for surveillance and monitoring of the earth's environment and resources.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute (NMI), Division for North Norway, is based in Tromsø. It is a key institution for all activities in Norway's northern regions. NMI has several field stations in the Arctic.

Want to check out the weather? Here you can get a live video-cam update of our weather every 15 minutes.

Tromsø is also the center for other industries: fishing, aquaculture, pre-fabricated houses, nature research, and computer technology. Today, it is North Norway's administrative, communication, educational, commercial and cultural center.

The timberline is 200-300 meters (ca. 600-800 feet) above sea level.

The hightest mountains: Jiekkevarre, 1883 meters (ca. 6000 feet); Tromsdalstind (visible from the town center), 1238 metres (ca. 4000 feet).

For a GREAT page filled with all sorts of information about this great city, check out Destinasjon Tromsø's Home Page. Both English and Norwegian versions. Find out all you need and want to know about Tromsø and surrounding areas. Request brochures and information online. A very good service! A variety of online webcams that are updated with new pictures every few minutes. Take a look!

Another good place for information about this wonderful place: Lycos' City Guide.

And for a really wonderful experience and a GREAT PLACE TO STAY, check out Sommerøy Kurs & Feriesenter. Beautifully situated in breathtaking surroundings with hotel, cabins down by the water, wooden bath tub, excellent food, fantastic service and much, much more! There are things to do, summer and winter alike. Live entertainment on occasion. Contact them for more info.

Well, there you have an introduction to Tromsø; I hope you enjoyed it. Perhaps you might even consider visiting Tromsø one day; there are worse places to spend a vacation. The big promotion within the tourist market is "North Norway in the Winter", going on dog- and reindeer-sled rides, overnighting in a Sami "lavvù (i.e. tent), and doing other out-of-the-ordinary things to experience the exciting, harsh and rugged nature of North Norway in the wintertime. Are you game? Or maybe you would prefer the summer and Midnight Sun. Whichever you choose, you're guaranteed an adventure you'll never forget - and you'll want to come back time and time again.

Other Pages:

For more information,
or if you have questions or comments, please feel free to send me an e-mail:

And please check out these sites:

Children Now

Amnesty International
United Way of America
American Family Association
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Though I personally find pornography and some
other topics that appear on many Web sites offensive,
I am an advocate of Free Speech and support
The Blue Ribbon Campaign for Online Free Speech

Check out Cyber Patrol. This is a program that allows parents and teachers to control the display of some materials found on The Net. This is a much more viable solution than allowing governments to exercise such control over content.

I also recommend a visit to The Green Ribbon Campaign for Responsibility in Free Speech. While supporting the right to free speech in all its forms, they also call for responsibility in exercising this right. There are lots of great links to other Home Pages at this site.

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated,
full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and
without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
of them that make peace." James 3:17-18

Some reference material was taken from "Tromsø,
Center for Polar Research", a brochure published by the Roald
Amundsen Center for Arctic Research.

The picture of The Northern Lights was copied
from a brochure from The Auoral Observatory.
The name of photographer is unknown.
Note: Except for the photo of The Northern Lights, all photos
on this page are the sole work and property of Linda S. Bennett,
Tromsø, Norway, and may not be used in any form without
express prior written consent.

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Designed, created and maintained with lots of by Linda S. Bennett.

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This Site was last updated on 28 September 1999.