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Do You Know That? Norway - The Beauty Of The North III.

Published: 29.1.2012
To see one of the most impressive places of the Norwegian kingdom, we must go to the far north. Port Tromsø is one of the many places where the traveler can enjoy by breathtaking performance in the form of the aurora.

Tromsø is not that big city, in terms of population is on the eighth place, but due to its location at the northern edge of the Norwegian countries, it is one of the most important ports at all and is the largest city of Norway above the Arctic Circle. However, this list of attractions does not finish with this, because right here, 1750 km north from Oslo, we find the most northerly university, botanical gardens and even the northernmost brewery in the world! City and county of Troms is located more than 400 km above the Arctic Circle. The whole area of urban self-governing territory is 2,600 km ², the largest in the Norway. Tromsø, though it is surrounded by land, the centre itself is located on the island Tromsøya, then the outskirts lies on the surrounding land, which with the centre is connected by the bridges and tunnel.

A place, where in the summer months - between 18 May and 26 July - the sun never sets not even during the long nights, is certainly worthy of interest, but the main show is coming up with an otherwise very grim winter, which is really difficult for the Central European. Masses of snow, desolate landscape and almost endless night - that are characteristic reasons of northern depression, above which float like angels own beautiful Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights. Strange light in green shades of gray and purple colour are silently dancing over the horizon. This outdoor theater happens due to collisions of electrons, protons and alpha particles, which form the solar wind generated during eruptions on the Sun travels through space to our planet, whose magnetic field is then reflected into space. Part, however, also captures and directs the magnetic poles, where there is interaction with the atmosphere - at altitudes between 80 to 1000 km - by which is created this magical light. The aurora is visible on the outskirts of the city, where light pollution is weakening. Impressive experience, however, snowmobile rides and reindeer sled in the city limits where you can all watch this amazing performance without any restrictions from late November to early April.

Tromso is also the gate to the polar regions, which always been a home to native tribes, who people call today as a comprehensive and well outdated and slightly derogatory name Lapps. This shepherd nation who is inhabiting most of the Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian North, is one of the best preserved ethnic groups of the northern hemisphere, which has proven its centuries of tradition preserved to this day.

The whole area was, according to archaeological findings already inhabited 9000 years ago, but the first mention of Tromsø dates from medieval chronicles, by which time he visited the reigning King of England Alfred certain chieftain Ottar behalf of the Nordic people living near the village, which was to be the center of the current port. In a broader awareness came in the middle of the 13th century, where he began to develop here and busy commercial traffic, which, like in other West Coast ports fell under the control of the Hanseatic city of Bergen. Tromsø gained independence until the late eighteenth century. The port also played an important role in naval operations during World War II, when it was anchored battleship Tirpitz - also called "Queen of the North".

The sights of the city itself will include mainly the oldest part of the centre, consisting of historic wooden houses, almost best retained throughout Norway (Trondheim for the South). Also interesting is the all-wood cathedral Tromsøkatedral from 1861, which contrasts to the construction of the modern church Ishavskatedral of 1965. The city centre also houses the oldest working cinema Verdensteatret Norwegian, running continuously since 1916, the decoration is unique frescoes depicting scenes from Norse mythology and fairy tales. Perhaps the most important building is the observatory and a planetarium dedicated just to research of aurora polaris ...

Text: Jan Chaloupka

Photo: Wikipedia Commons: Chmee2, F.Olsen, Ragnilius, Fjellheisen

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