From Academic Kids

Tromsø kommune
Missing image

County Troms
Municipality NO-1902
Administrative centre Tromsø
Mayor (2004) Herman Kristoffersen (Ap)
Official language form Neutral
 - Total
 - Land
 - Percentage
Ranked 18
2,566 km²
2,519 km²
0.79 %
 - Total (2004)
 - Percentage
 - Change (10 years)
 - Density
Ranked 8
1.35 %
13.3 %
Coordinates Template:Coor dm

Data from Statistics Norway (

Tromsø is a city and municipality in the county of Troms, Norway. The municipality of Tromsø covers large districts outside the town.

Tromsø is the seventh largest city in Norway by population, and is home of the world's northernmost university, University of Tromsø.

The city is located on the Tromsøy island — above the Arctic Circle at Template:Coor dms.

The Midnight sun is visible in Tromsø from about May 18 to July 26. On the other hand, the sun remains below the horizon from about November 26 to January 15. However, the city is surrounded by mountains, meaning that in reality the Midnight Sun is visible from about May 21 to July 21, and the dark period is about from November 21 to January 21. The return of the sun is an occasion for celebration.



The first church was built in 1252, and was then the world's northernmost church, called Sancta Maria juxta paganos, or "Saint Mary's close to the pagans". Probably around the same time, a turf rampart was built to protect the area against raids from Karelia and Russia.

Tromsø was issued its city charter in 1794, by then only around 80 people lived there. During the 19th century the city rose in importance, with the establishment of a bishop's seat (1834), a teacher training college (1848), a shipyard (1848), the Tromsø Museum (1872) and the Mack Brewery (1877).

Arctic hunting, from Novaya Zemlya to Canada, started up around 1820. By 1850 Tromsø was the major centre of Arctic hunting, overtaking the former centre of Hammerfest, and the city was trading from Arkhangelsk to Bordeaux. In 1803 Tromsø became the seat of a Bishop, and in 1848, a teachers' training college was relocated to Tromsø. 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 crew in the city. The Northern lights observatory was founded in 1927.

During World War II it served briefly as the seat of Norwegian government. However, the city escaped the war without any damage, although the German battleship Tirpitz was sunk off the Tromsøy Island on November 12 1944, when close to 1000 German soldiers died.

Expansion after World War II has been rapid. The airport opened in 1964, the University of Tromsø in 1972 and the Norwegian Polar Institute was relocated to Tromsø from Oslo in 1998.

The population growth has been strong, some years more than 1000 people; in 1964 the present municipal borders were created through unification of several boroughs. Then the city had some 32 000 inhabitants, practically doubled today at 62 000. At present the growth is slowing slightly.

More than 100 nationalities are represented in the population, among the more prominent are the Russians and Finns. The world's northernmost mosque is to be found in Tromsø. The Our Lady Catholic church is the seat of the world's northernmost Catholic Bishop. The Sami minority is making itself felt again, after decades of ridicule and repression, and there is a Sami kindergarten and Sami language classes in school.


Tromsø is the home of two football clubs: Tromsø I.L., which plays in the Norwegian Premier League; and Tromsdalen U.I.L., playing in the second division (2005). Tromsø Midnight Sun Marathon is arranged every year in June and recently also a Polar Night Half marathon in January.

Missing image
The Arctic Cathedral

Most cultural activities take place in the Kulturhuset (The culture house), including concerts by Tromsø's symphony orchestra (Tromsø Symfoniorkester) and plays by Tromsø's professional theatre troupe Hålogaland Teater. A new theatre building is under construction, and is due to open in November 2005. There is also the Northern Norwegian Art Gallery (Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum) as well as the Tromsø Gallery of Contemporary Art (Tromsø Kunstforening). January is the main season for cultural events, with both the Tromsø International Film Festival and the Northern Lights Festival of Music (Nordlysfestivalen). On June 11 2005 the city will host the 46664 Arctic concert designed to put work concerning HIV/AIDS on the international agenda. The concert is promoted by Nelson Mandela, whose prison number has provided the arrangement's name, and will feature international and local artists.

The city centre is the biggest concentration of historic wooden houses north of Trondheim. A multitude of houses dating from 1789 to 1904 (when building wooden houses was banned in the city centre), co-exist with modern architecture. Landmarks include the Tromsø Cathedral (Norway's only wooden cathedral, built in 1861), the Arctic Cathedral (a striking modern church from 1965) and the Polaria aquarium and experience centre from 1998. The oldest house in Tromsø is Skansen, built in 1789 on the remains of a 13th c. turf rampart. Norway's oldest cinema is still in use, Verdensteatret, built 1915-16, lies in Tromsø and is featured with large wall paintings, picturing scenes from Norwegian folk lore and fairy tales, made by the local artist Sverre Mack in 1921.

Tromsø was known in the 19th c. as the "Paris of the North", probably because people in Tromsø appeared as far more civilized than expected to foreign tourists. Fashions, language skills and a high educational level of the city's gentry came as a big surprise to prejudiced visitors.

The nightlife of Tromsø enjoys national fame. The combined capacity of clubs, pubs and bars is of more than 20 000 people, meaning that one out of three can go out at the same time. However, the sin city image was more apparent in the 1970s, when the rest of Norway was a lot drier and duller than today.

The local newspapers are named Bladet Tromsø and Nordlys and the local brewery is the Mack Brewery which is the northernmost brewery in the world.

The movie Insomnia was shot in Tromsø.

Famous people who come from the city include:

The Harbour of Tromsø
The Harbour of Tromsø

Twin towns

Tromsø has ten twin towns:


External links

  • Tromsø 2014 ( - Olympic bid official site
  • 46664 Arctic ( - The consert's official site

Municipalities of Troms Missing image
Troms coat of arms

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