Neiden is a fascinating small village situated near the Finnish border approx. 40 km west from Kirkenes. The people in Neiden have their history and origin from Skoltesami. Neiden, which lies along the Neiden River, consists of two villages: Neiden on the Norwegian side and Näätämö on the Finnish side.
Worth a visit
Skoltefossen is located in the middle of the village. The road E6 crosses Neidenelva. Park by the bridge and go to Skoltfossen which goes right under the bridge. If you are lucky you can see the salmon on their tour upstream (June-Aug).
The museums permanent exhibition The Skolt Sámi Land is a historical journey. It consists of 300 objects exhibited over 200 sqm. The exhibition area is divided into three rooms: The People, The Land and The World. Each room offers a different perspective and insight, and together they aim to tell thecomplex history of the Skolt Sámi’s.
For more information: http://www.skoltesamiskmuseum.no/frontpage.414107.en.html
Skolt Sami Village and St. Georgs Chapel
Prior to the establishing of national borders in 1826, the Siidas defined use and social organization in the area now called The Skolt Country. The national borders introduced new premises and structures for the area, which led to changes in the way of life for the Skolt Sámi. The Skolt Sámi Village in the Neidensiida became a year-round residence, where until around 1980 several Skolt Sámi families lived permanently, while today only one house is inhabited all year around. The Ministry of the Environment consecrated The Skolt Sámi Village as a cultural heritage area in September 2000, to preserve the cultural, religious and landscape values.
St. George’s Chapel: The Russian Orthodox Church started the Christianization of the Skolt Sámis in the 16th century. The tradition tells that the monk Trifon built chapels in the Pasvik and Neiden Siidas in 1565. The existing building in Neiden was named St.Georg’s chapel and is probably a few hundred years old. Inside the chapel there is an altarpiece, an altar and several icons.
In 1898, an inquiry was made to the Ministry of Church and Education from 26 families in Neiden to have a church and cemetery built in Neiden. Only 4 years later the church was completed. The population’s desire to have a church coincided with the authorities’ desire to secure the border areas against Finnish-Russian expansion. Architect Karl Norum was very interested in old Norwegian stave churches, and he designed a building that was to be an expression of Norwegian culture and national cohesion in the border area. The church was consecrated on July 13, 1902.
How to get there
Neiden is located along the road E6.
Follow the E6 towards Tana 40 km from Kirkenes.
For scheduled bus offers check https://snelandia.no/
Places to stay and eat
Organized tours to Neiden
Kirkenes Booking – Pasvikturist AS offers tours by minibus and guide
Barents Safari offers snøskuterturer from Kirkenes to Neiden and Finland