© Pam (guest image)
Honningsvåg, MS Kong Harald


Honningsvåg at 70° 58' N, in Nordkapp municipality, claims to be the northernmost city in Norway and even in the world, although the title is disputed by Hammerfest, Norway; Barrow, Alaska; and Longyearbyen, Svalbard.

About Honningsvåg

History and environment
People have lived in this area as far back as 10,300 years ago. The sea was probably the main food supplier for this prehistoric settlement. Indeed, the ice-free ocean (southwestern part of the Barents Sea) provides rich fisheries even today, and tourism is also important. Even at 71°N, many private gardens in Honningsvåg have trees, although rarely more than 3 – 4 m tall.

Hurtigruten has one of its main stops in Honningsvåg on its lengthy route along the Norwegian coast from Kirkenes in the north to Bergen the south. From 11:45 am to 03:15 pm the ships dock in the port of Honningsvåg, generating heavy tourist activity in the city.

The famous dog Bamse came from Honningsvåg.

The city status
The status of Honningsvåg as a city is a point of contention between the inhabitants of Honningsvåg and Hammerfest which many foreigners may find strange, given the small size of both of these places. In Norwegian the word 'by' can mean both town and city and Norwegian does not distinguish between the terms in the same way as English or other languages do. The translation of the word into English is thus ambiguous and can be chosen as one sees fit. If both Hammerfest and Honningsvåg were to be defined according to British tradition, neither of them would be considered cities, as neither has a university or a cathedral. Both of them would, however, be considered towns, given the status of both settlements as economic hubs of the surrounding areas and the status as municipal centers.

Holmen 2A

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