Photo: Konrad Konieczny –

Tromsø is considered the northernmost city in the world with a population above 50,000. The city of Tromsø is the administrative centre of the municipality. It is the largest urban area in Northern Norway and the third largest north of the Arctic Circle (following Murmansk and Norilsk)., The city is warmer than most other places located on the same latitude, due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.

The city centre of Tromsø contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Northern Norway, the oldest house dating from 1789.

Arctic hunting, from Novaya Zemlya to Canada, started up around 1820. By 1850, Tromsø was the major centre of Arctic hunting, and the city was trading from Arkhangelsk to Bordeaux. The town also grew increasingly important in other maritime economic activities, with the first shipyard being established in 1848.

By the end of the 19th century, Tromsø had become a major Arctic trade centre from which many Arctic expeditions originated. Explorers like Roald Amundsen, Umberto Nobile and Fridtjof Nansen made use of the know-how in Tromsø on the conditions in the Arctic, and often recruited their crews in the city.

Photo: Yngve Olsen Sæbbe –