Hammerfest Photo: Anna Garbagnati

Hammerfest got it’s town status as early as in 1789, and for the last 200 years it has been branded as the Northernmost Town in the World. The photo is taken by Anna Garbagnati/HRG archive.

In fact the town has copyrights to the use of the brand.

Located this far north, the town has full daylight from the midnight sun from May 17. to July 28., 24 hours a day.

However, from November 22. until January 21. the sun is under the horizon all day, and the dark periode of the year can be rather tough to handle for many people.

Coat of Arms

The coat of arms symbolises the status of the town of Hammerfest as an important gate into the Polar region of the Norwegian Sea, showing a silver icebear on red background.

It was approved by in 1938, and was created by a local teacher named Ole Valle. The design has been through small changes, the last one in 2001 by the artist Arvid Sveen.


Hammerfest Church

Hammerfest Church has a characteristic triangular shape, probably inspired by the old, traditional fish flakes used for drying fish. The church is open all year on Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 15:00. During June, July and August, the church is also open on Saturdays as well.

The Catholic Church

Hammerfest also has it’s Catholic church recognized as the northernmost Catholic church in the world.

The Catholic Church was built in 1957, even it’s only serving about half of the 200 catholics in the whole county of Finnmark. The church is open for visitors, and every Saturday at 18:30 and every Sunday at 11 o’clock there is a Mass held in the Catholic church.

Area and population

Hammerfest Photo: Bernd Kappler

Hammerfest municipality covers an area of 847 km2, and is located on the northern part of the islands of Kvaløya, Sørøya and Seiland. The photo to the left is by Bernd Kappler/HRG archive.

By January 1. 2009 there were 9.493 inhabitants in Hammerfest .

140 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest, in the Norwegian Sea, is the Snøhvit (Snow white) natural gas field.

The Snøhvit is a gas development operated by Statoil, including 21 wells, and Statoil is handling the operation on behalf of several other gas companies.

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