Discover the city of Kirkenes, Norway
A Norwegian town situated in the far northeastern parts of Norway, Kirkenes is quite a cold place to most visitors. The town has roughly 6000 inhabitants and is located in the Sør-Varanger municipality in Finnmark. When one looks at the Varanger Fjord, you will find Kirkness on a small branch of the fjord on the edge of a large bay just of the Barents Sea. The town is quite near the Russian border and is only 400 kilometers from the Arctic Circle.
It's proximity to the north pole means that the town sees long dark winters and short mild summers. The Midnight sun shines here between May and July while the winter darkness engulfs the town between November and January. Average summer temperatures reach around 15 °C and the climate is definitely continental. The current population is mostly made up of Norwegians, but there is a Sami minority as well as a number of Finnish people who have lived here for a few generations or who have recently immigrated. More recent years have started to see a few Russian immigrants reach the shores of Kirkenes.
The city of Kirkenes has the dubious honor of being one of the most bombed town during the Second World War - by the end of the war only 13 houses remained standing. Fortunately, Kirkenes has left this tragedy in the past and now tends to focus more on its excellent harbor and its role in creating cross-border cultural, educational and business relations with other countries in the Barents Region. It also sees quite a few tourists who enjoy visiting the Grenselandsmuseet (The Border Country Museum) and Sami art exhibitions of the artist John Savio artwork. Kirkenes is one of the stops from Hurtigruten to Bergen and is also served by the Kirkenes Airport so transport to and from the city is quite easy to find. Try a short visit to Kirkenes on your next trip to Norway and see what other facets of the city you find enjoyable...