New Destination for Qeshm Virtual Airlines
Tehran To Tromso
Iran To Norway , Distance 2430 nm
Fly by Airbus 330-300 And Airbus 300-600
Tromsø lies in Northern Norway. The municipality has a population of (2015) 72,066, but with an annual influx of students it has over 75,000 most of the year. It is the largest urban area in Northern Norway and the third largest north of the Arctic Circle (following Murmansk and Norilsk). Most of Tromsø, including the city centre, is located on the island of Tromsøya, 350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. In 2012, Tromsøya had a population of 36,088. Substantial parts of the urban area are also situated on the mainland to the east, and on parts of Kvaløya—a large island to the west. Tromsøya is connected to the mainland by the Tromsø Bridge and the Tromsøysund Tunnel, and to the island of Kvaløya by the Sandnessund Bridge. Tromsø Airport connects the city to many destinations in Europe. 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. The Arctic Cathedral, a modern church from 1965, is probably the most famous landmark in Tromsø. The city is a cultural centre for its region, with several festivals taking place in the summer. Some of Norway’s best-known musicians, Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge of the electronica duo Röyksopp and Lene Marlin grew up and started their careers in Tromsø. Noted electronic musician Geir Jenssen also hails from Tromsø.
The most famous soccer team in the area, Tromsø IL, currently plays in the Norwegian Premier League.
The area has been inhabited since the end of the ice age. Archeological excavations in Tønsvika, just outside the city limits, have turned up artifacts and remains of buildings estimated to be 9,000 to 10,000 years old.
Middle Ages: a fortress on the frontier
Hoard of Viking jewellery found in Tromsø dating from 7–8th Centuries AD now in the British Museum.
The area’s rich Norse and Sámi heritage is well documented. The Norse chieftain Ohthere, who lived during the 890s, is assumed to have inhabited the southernmost reaches of today’s Tromsø municipality. He described himself as living “furthest to the North of all Norwegians” with areas north of this being populated by Sámi. An Icelandic source (Rimbegla) from the 12th century also describes the fjord Malangen in the south of today’s Tromsø municipality as a border between Norse and Sámi coastal settlements during that part of the Middle Ages. There has also been extensive Sámi settlement on the coast south of this ‘border’ as well as scattered Norse settlements north of Malangen – for example, both Sámi and Norse Iron Age (0–1050 AD) remains have been found on southern Kvaløya.
The first church on the island of Tromsøya was erected in 1252. Ecclesia Sanctae Mariae de Trums juxta paganos (“The Church of Saint Mary in Troms near the Heathens” – the nominal “heathens” being the Sámi), was built during the reign of King Hákon Hákonarson. At the time, it was the northernmost church in the world. Around the same time a turf rampart was built to protect the area against raids from Karelia and Russia.
Tromsø was not just a Norwegian outpost in an area mainly populated by the Sámi, but also a frontier city towards Russia; the Novgorod state had the right to tax the Sámi along the coast to Lyngstuva and inland to the Skibotn River or possibly the Målselv River, whereas Norway was allowed to tax areas east to – and including – the Kola Peninsula. During the next five hundred years Norway’s border with Russia and the limits of Norwegian settlement would be pushed eastwards to Sør-Varanger, making Tromsø lose its character as a “frontier town”.
1700s and 1800s: the “Paris of the north”
During the 17th century, while Denmark–Norway was solidifying its claim to the northern coast of Scandinavia and during this period a redoubt, Skansen, was built. Despite only being home to around 80 people, Tromsø was issued its city charter in 1794 by King Christian VII. This coincided with, and was a direct consequence of, the abolition of the city of Bergen’s centuries-old monopoly on the trade in cod. Tromsø quickly rose in importance. The Diocese of Hålogaland was created in 1804, with the first bishop being Mathias Bonsak Krogh. The city was established as a municipality 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt).
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. The town also grew increasingly important in other maritime economic activities, with the first shipyard being established in 1848.
In 1848, the teacher training college was also moved from Trondenes (near current-day Harstad) to Tromsø, with part of its mission being to educate Sámi scholars – there was a quota ensuring that Sámi gained access. The teacher college was followed by the Tromsø Museum in 1872, and the Mack Brewery in 1877.
During the 19th century, Tromsø became known as the “Paris of the North”. How this nickname came into being is uncertain, but the reason is generally assumed to be that people in Tromsø appeared far more sophisticated than visitors from the south typically expected.
Early 1900s: exploration and war
Photochrom print from Tromsø, 1900
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. The Northern lights observatory was founded in 1927.
When Germany invaded Norway in 1940, Tromsø served briefly as the seat of the Norwegian government. General Carl Gustav Fleischer arrived in Tromsø on 10 April 1940 after flying in terrible conditions. From Tromsø he issued orders for total civilian and military mobilisation and declared Northern Norway a theatre of war. Fleischer’s strategic plan was to first wipe out the German forces at Narvik and then transfer his division to Nordland to meet a German advance from Trøndelag. The Germans eventually captured all of Norway, after allied support had been withdrawn, although they encountered fierce resistance from the Finnmark-based Alta Battalion at Narvik. Tromsø escaped the war unscathed, although the German battleship Tirpitz was sunk by the RAF off the Tromsøy island on 12 November 1944, killing close to 1,000 German sailors.
The German battleship Tirpitz was bombed and sunk off Tromsø island in 1944.
At the end of the war, the city received thousands of refugees from Finnmark county and the North Troms area – which had been devastated by German forces using scorched earth tactics in expectation of the Red Army offensive.
Late 1900s – today: rapid expansion
Expansion after World War II has been rapid. The rural municipalities of Tromsøysund and Ullsfjord, and most of Hillesøy, were merged with Tromsø on 1 January 1964, creating today’s Tromsø municipality and almost tripling Tromsø’s population – from 12,430 to 32,664. In addition, the population growth has been strong, with at times more than 1,000 new Tromsøværinger (residents of Tromsø) annually. The population of Tromsø municipality today is 68,239, and the urban area, Norway’s ninth most populous, is home to 58,486 people. This excludes most of the city’s students, however, who often do not change their address when moving to Tromsø.
A major development was the opening of Tromsø Airport in 1964, situated on the main island, and in 1972 the University of Tromsø was opened, at the time one of four universities in Norway and the only one serving the northern half of the country. A local teacher’s college and museum were eventually incorporated into the university. The Norwegian Polar Institute was moved to Tromsø from Oslo in 1998. More recently, the university has expanded further through two mergers, first with University College Tromsø in 2009 and then with University College Finnmark in 2013.
The city of Tromsø was established as an independent municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The city was completely surrounded by the Tromsøe landdistrikt (the rural municipality of Tromsø / later renamed Tromsøysund), but they were governed separately. As the city grew in size, areas were added to the city from the rural district.
On 1 January 1861, an area of Tromsøysund (population: 110) was transferred to the city of Tromsø. On 1 January 1873, an unpopulated area of Tromsøysund was transferred to the city. On 1 July 1915, another area of Tromsøysund (population: 512) was merged into the city of Tromsø. On 1 January 1955, the Bjerkaker area on Tromsøya (population: 1,583) was transferred from Tromsøysund to the city of Tromsø.
On 1 January 1964, a major municipal merger took place. The city of Tromsø (population: 12,602), the municipality of Tromsøysund (population: 16,727), most of the municipality of Ullsfjord except for the Svendsby area (population: 2,019), and most of the municipality of Hillesøy except for the parts on Senja (population: 1,316) were all merged to form a new, larger municipality of Tromsø.
The city of Tromsø is named after the island of Tromsøya, on which it stands. The last element of the city’s name comes from ‘island’ (Norwegian: øy, Danish: ø), but the etymology of the first element is uncertain. Several theories exist. One theory holds “Troms-” to derive from the old (uncompounded) name of the island (Old Norse: Trums). Several islands and rivers in Norway have the name Tromsa, and the names of these are probably derived from the word straumr which means “(strong) current”. (The original form must then have been Strums, for the missing s see Indo-European s-mobile.) Another theory holds that Tromsøya was originally called Lille Tromsøya (Little Tromsøya), because of its proximity to the much bigger island today called Kvaløya, that according to this theory was earlier called “Store Tromsøya” due to a characteristic mountain known as Tromma (the Drum). The mountain’s name in Sámi, Rumbbučohkka, is identical in meaning, and it is said to have been a sacred mountain for the Sámi in pre-Christian times.
The Sámi name of the island, Romsa, is assumed to be a loan from Norse – but according to the phonetical rules of the Sami language the frontal t has disappeared from the name. However, an alternative form – Tromsa – is in informal use. There is a theory that holds the Norwegian name of Tromsø derives from the Sámi name, though this theory lacks an explanation for the meaning of Romsa. A common misunderstanding is that Tromsø’s Sámi name is Romssa with a double “s”. This, however, is the accusative and genitive form of the noun used when, for example, writing “Tromsø Municipality” (Romssa Suohkan). In Finnish, however, the word is written with a double “s”: Tromssa.
Coat of arms
A relief of the arms on a 1910 façade.
The coat of arms of Tromsø was devised in 1870 and is blazoned “Azure, a reindeer trippant Argent.” It is often surmounted by a mural crown with five or four turrets. The municipal authority currently uses a stylised rendering drawn by Hallvard Trætteberg (1898–1987) and adopted by royal resolution on 24 September 1941.
Tromsø is the eighth-largest municipality in Norway with a population of 71,590, and the centre of the ninth-largest urban area, with a population of about 60,000. The city is home to the world’s northernmost university and also houses the northernmost botanical garden and planetarium.
The city centre is located on the east side of the Tromsøya island — over 300 kilometres (190 mi) north of the Arctic Circle at 69°40′33″N 18°55′10″E. Suburban areas include Kroken, Tromsdalen (on the mainland, east of Tromsøya), the rest of the Tromsøya island, and the eastern part of the large Kvaløya, west of the Tromsøya island. The Tromsø Bridge and Tromsøysund Tunnel both cross the Tromsøysundet strait connecting the mainland with Tromsøya by road. On the western side of the city, the Sandnessund Bridge connects Tromsøya island with Kvaløya island.
There are many tall mountains within the municipality including Hamperokken, Jiehkkevárri, Store Blåmann, Store Fornestinden, and Tromsdalstinden. The Lyngen Alps mountain range lies along the Tromsø-Lyngen municipal border. There are many islands within the municipality of Tromsø including Hillesøya, Kvaløya, Rebbenesøya, Ringvassøya, Sommarøya, and Tromsøya. There are also several fjords that are located in Tromsø including the Balsfjorden, Kaldfjorden, Malangen, and Ullsfjorden.
Tromsø in May
Tromsø experiences a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc) because winter temperatures are just cold enough to qualify and the summer season is short. However, the weather and precipitation amount and pattern, with maximum precipitation in autumn and early winter, as well as lack of permafrost, are atypical for subarctic areas. The warming and moderating influence of the Gulf Stream contributes to Tromsø having an extremely mild climate for such a northerly area, with seasonal differences in temperature also being rather small in spite of the massive fluctuations of daylight.
Tromsø has reputation of accumulating a lot of snow in winter, but on the streets of the city ice often prevails, especially in the first half of the winter. Despite its northern location, Tromsø’s snowfall pattern is quite erratic and varies substantially between different winters. This erratic snowfall pattern is due to the fact that Tromsø is within the Gulf Stream area of influence, and often gets wet but warm spells, bringing rain that melts or wets existing snow. This is often followed by chilly windy Arctic blasts, creating the famous dangerous ice driving and walking conditions. It is common to see Tromsø inhabitants walking with spikes in their shoes and almost all cars use studded tires. The all-time record for snow depth was set on 29 April 1997, when the meteorological station on top of Tromsøya recorded 240 centimetres (94.5 in) of snow on the ground. In an average winter, Tromsø sees 160 days with at least 25 cm of snow on the ground (based on 1970–2000 average and recorded at the met.office station on top of the island, 100 m asl). Temperature averages are for the period 1961 to 1990 for the main weather station, located at the Meteorological Institute’s office on the top of the island. Extremes are from the same station for the full period of record through 2010. The lowest temperature ever recorded is −18.4 °C (−1.1 °F), in February 1966. However, at the airport, also in the city, the lowest ever recording is −20.1 °C (−4.2 °F) in February 1985. These cold extremes are extremely mild for such a northerly location and are actually milder than winter normal highs in much more southerly areas elsewhere such as in central Siberia and boreal Canada.
The January average daily maximum is −2.2 °C (28.0 °F). Summers are rather cool, with average high and low temperatures in July of 15.3 °C (59.5 °F) and 8.7 °C (47.7 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded is 30.2 °C (86.4 °F), in July 1972. Outside the city, large areas in the municipality are above the treeline and have an alpine tundra climate. Despite being a full 10 degrees further north than the Norwegian capital, Oslo, winter temperatures are very similar. On the west coast of Kvaløya (Sommarøy), climate data show a mean annual temperature of 3.9 °C (39.0 °F), mostly because winters here are 2 °C (36 °F) warmer compared to the city, making this part of the municipality a subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc) zone. Tromsø has the distinction of being the northernmost city on earth where the average yearly low remains above freezing. The “midnight sun” is above the horizon from 19 May to 27 July, and the period with continuous daylight lasts a bit longer, polar night from 28 November to 14 January. Due to the extreme maritime influence, temperatures above freezing are not uncommon during the polar night period. This is in stark contrast to nearby inland areas such as Swedish Lapland where winter temperatures are bitterly cold.
Light and darkness
The Northern Lights in Tromsø
The Northern Lights near Tromsø.
Early afternoon during the polar night in Tromsø, Norway.
Tromsø in midnight sun in July
Tromsø in midnight sun in July.
Tromsø Airport on midday in early January.
The midnight sun occurs from about 18 May to 26 July, but the mountains in the north block the view of it for a few days, meaning that one can see the midnight sun from about 21 May to 21 July. Owing to Tromsø’s high latitude, twilight is long, meaning there is no real darkness between late April and mid-August.
The sun remains below the horizon during the polar night from about 26 November to 15 January, but owing to the mountains, the sun is not visible from 21 November to 21 January. The return of the sun is an occasion for celebration. However, because of the twilight, there is some daylight for a couple of hours even around midwinter, often with bluish light. The nights shorten quickly. By 21 February the sun is above the horizon from 7:45 am to 4:10 pm, and by 1 April it is above the horizon from 5:50 am to 7:50 pm (daylight saving time).
The combination of snow cover and sunshine often creates intense light conditions from late February until the snow melts in the lowland (usually late April), and sunglasses are essential when skiing. Because of these diametrically different light conditions in winter, Norwegians often divide it into two seasons: Mørketid (polar night) and Seinvinter (late winter).
Tromsø is in the middle of the aurora borealis (northern lights) zone, and is one of the best places in the world to observe the aurora. Because of the Earth’s rotation, Tromsø moves into the aurora zone around 6 pm, and moves out again around midnight. As it is light round the clock in the summer, no aurora is visible between late April and mid-August.