Arctic Living

History of Kirkenes

The area around Kirkenes was a common Norwegian–Russian district until 1826, when the present border was settled. The original name of the peninsula was Piselvnes (Pis River headland), but was changed to Kirkenes (church headland) when the Kirkenes Church was built in 1862. Only a few families lived in Kirkenes in 1906 when iron ore was discovered nearby. This led to the establishment of the mining company A/S Sydvaranger, and within a few years the population had swelled to 8,000. People moved here from afar to work, and in addition to Norwegian and Sami, Finnish, Russian, Swedish, English and German…
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Around

KIRKENES

Bugøynes

Bugøynes is a beautiful fishing village situated approx. 100 km west of Kirkenes. As the village was not burnt by…
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Grense Jakobselv

If you want to visit the world’s end during your visit to Kirkenes then Grense Jakobselv is the place to…
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Neiden

Neiden is a fascinating small village situated near the Finnish border approx. 45 km from Kirkenes. The people in Neiden have…
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The Pasvik Valley

Close to the borders of Norway, Russia and Finland, the Pasvik Valley (Pasvikdalen) stretches from Kirkenes in the north to…
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Varanger Peninsula

For information about what to see and do on the northern side of the Varangerfjord, please visit: Visitvaranger.com
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Meet the

PEOPLE

Crossing the border – for trade and dreams

Antonina Sheltova lives in Murmansk, where she works as a small scale entrepreneur with her own hats shop in the…
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Freedom won and lost

Olav Beddari lived in Skogfoss, was a schoolteacher, a local historian and writer of several books. One of his lifelong…
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Living with nature

Trine lives in Melkefoss with her family. She is educated a teacher, but left schoolwork to pursue her dreams. She…
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Runa

Runa lives with her family in Melkefoss in Pasvik Valley, and goes to school in Skogfoss. Her greatest passion of…
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The reindeer herder

The reindeer herder Mariann Wollmann Magga lives with her family in Bjørnevatn outside Kirkenes. She is a reindeer herder, a…
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The school dropout

The school dropout Anders lives in Kirkenes, and is a natural born entrepreneur. He has founded his own company, and…
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Things people actually do

in the arctic

Celebration with art and long thoughts!

Kirkenes has several festivals that delight both residents and visitors throughout the year.
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Here comes the sun!

January 15. every year, the sun returns to Kirkenes after a long period of winter darkness.
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Mine Pond-hockey

Nothing can stop these local guys from pursuing their passion, ice hockey. Not even the lack of indoor ice rink.
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The everyday in winter wonderland and playing in the snow

Some may think that everyday life or playing stops during the winter in the north. That could not be further…
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The Kicksled – worlds cleanest vehicle

The Norwegian "spark" (the kicksled) is a small sled with steel runners, usually designed as a chair with handles. The…
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