Polar huntsman
©Tromsø University Museum

Polar history

Recommended places of interest and activities for those interested in Arctic history.
  • Hunting and fishing monument in Stortorget: The monument is a memorial to those hunters and fishermen who died in the harsh Arctic Ocean. The winter of 1952 saw the demise of nearly 80 hunters. 
     
  • Latham monument at Prostneset: The commemorative plaque was erected in memory of the crew on board the aircraft "Latham" who died during the rescue expedition for Umberto Nobile and his airship "Italia" in 1928. Roald Amundsen was among the dead. The commemorative plaque is a gift from the French newspaper "Le Temps".
     
  • Mack Brewery: The brewery was founded by Ludwig Mack in 1877 and its pub Ølhallen opened in 1928. The local men now had their sanctuary, a bustling environment enjoyed by fishermen, trappers, farmers and townspeople alike. Ølhallen is Tromsø's oldest pub. It is possible to take an extensive tour of Mack's historical premises.
     
  • MS Polstjerna: Norway's best-preserved seal-hunting ship was in operation for 33 seasons, hunting in the ice east and west of the North Pole. In front of MS Polstjerna one finds the monument to Helmer Hanssen, erected by the Arctic Association and unveiled in 2011, to commemorate the centenary of his arrival at the South Pole. It was Hanssen who had unveiled the monument to Roald Amundsen at Prostneset.
     
  • Nobile Monument at Telegrafbukta: Airship expert Umberto Nobile led an expedition to the North Pole in the airship Italia in 1928. The airship crashed on the return journey and a major rescue operation was launched. Roald Amundsen was one of the rescuers, but Latham itself crashed and Amundsen disappeared during the rescue operation. Nobile and five of the crew were rescued from the ice. The Nobile Monument was erected in memory of those who sacrificed their lives in connection with the expedition and rescue efforts.
     
  • The Polar Museum in Tromsø: Exhibits related to the history of Tromsø city and the Arctic, the stories of trappers such as Henry Rudi and Wanny Woldstad, the expeditions of Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen and Svalbard's cultural history.
     
  • Roald Amundsen Monument at Prostneset: Amundsen had a close connection to Tromsø. He sailed with the vessel "Gjøa" as the first man through the Northwest Passage in 1903. He is also known to have led the first expedition to reach the South Pole in 1911. The Amundsen Monument was erected in 1937 by Helmer Hanssen, one of Roald Amundsen's expedition team members.
     
  • Storgata 42: Peter Wessel Zapffe was a close friend of Roald Amundsen. It was his father pharmacist Fritz G. Zapffe who had bought the premises at Storgata 42 and opened the pharmacy "Nordstjernen".  Amundsen used to live with the Zapffe family when he was in Tromsø before going on his major expeditions.
     
  • Join the Historical City Tour with Tromsø Budget Tours to discover the secrets of the Gateway to the Arctic and the city's centuries-long history.
     
  • Follow in Roald Amundsen's footsteps with FarOut: a city walk to the Roald Amundsen statue and other historical sites.
     
  • Get a local cultural experience through theatre walks with Sadio Nor Teater, which bring to life the stories of the people who have contributed to Tromsø’s colourful history.