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 Vardø (help·info) (also Finnish: Vuoreija or Vuorea, Northern Sami: Várggát) is a municipality in Finnmark
Finnmark
county in the extreme northeastern part of Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Vardø. The other main settlement in Vardø
Vardø
is the village of Kiberg. The 601-square-kilometre (232 sq mi) municipality is the 186th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Vardø is the 322nd most populous municipality in Norway
Norway
with a population of 2,104. The municipality's population density is 3.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (9.3/sq mi) and its population has decreased by 8% over the last decade.[2]

Contents

1 General information

1.1 Name 1.2 Coat-of-arms 1.3 Churches

2 History 3 Government

3.1 Municipal council

4 Geography

4.1 Climate 4.2 Fauna and flora

5 Transportation 6 Media 7 Economy and tourism

7.1 River fishing 7.2 Globus II
Globus II
Radar

8 Sister cities 9 References 10 External links

General information[edit]

Vardø
Vardø
municipality map

Vardø
Vardø
April 2001

The town of Vardø
Vardø
and the rural district around it was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The law required that all towns should be separated from their rural districts, but because of a low population and very few voters, this was impossible to carry out for Vardø
Vardø
in 1838. (See also Hammerfest and Vadsø.) The rural district of Vardø
Vardø
(Vardø landdistrikt–renamed Båtsfjord
Båtsfjord
in 1957) was officially separated from the town of Vardø
Vardø
in 1868. Then on 1 January 1964, the eastern part of Båtsfjord
Båtsfjord
was merged with the town of Vardø
Vardø
to create today's Vardø
Vardø
Municipality.[3] Name[edit] The Old Norse
Old Norse
form of the name was Vargøy. The first element is vargr which means "wolf" and the last element is øy which means "island". The first element was later replaced (around 1500) with varða which means "cairn". Historically, the name was spelled Vardöe.[4][5] Coat-of-arms[edit] Main article: Coat of arms
Coat of arms
of Vardø The coat-of-arms date back to 1898. Its borders are drawn using the national colours: red, white, and blue. The border frames the shield, and the centre field shows a complex scene incorporating a sunrise with rays, two fishing boats with crews, the sea with waves, and a large cod. In the chief we find the year of the town's foundation, 1789, together with the words "Vardöensis Insignia Urbis", meaning "the seal of the town of Vardø". In the lower part of the arms, we find the town motto: "Cedant Tenebræ Soli", meaning "Darkness shall give way to the sun."[6] See also: Coat of arms
Coat of arms
– high resolution version Churches[edit]

The Kirkegata Street in Vardø
Vardø
with the church

The Church of Norway
Norway
has one parish (sokn) within the municipality of Vardø. It is part of the Varanger prosti
Varanger prosti
(deanery) in the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland.

Churches in Vardø

Parish (sokn) Name Location Year built

Vardø Vardø
Vardø
Church Vardø 1958

Vardø
Vardø
Chapel Vardø 1908

History[edit]

Street art in the old town

Old houses in Østervågen

Vardø
Vardø
has a long settlement history before it was granted status as a town in 1789. Several stone-age sites as well as sites dating from the Sami Iron Age are known on the island. In the Medieval period, Vardø's importance grew as a result of it being the easternmost stronghold of the then-expanding Norwegian royal power. A church was built in Vardø
Vardø
in 1307, and the first fortress was established at about the same time. Thick cultural layers in the southeastern part of the town, Østervågen, document continuous habitation in this area reaching back at least some 800 years. Even if the presence of the fortress and king's bailiff gave Vardø
Vardø
a certain degree of permanence and stability not experienced by other fishing communities in Finnmark, the town's size and importance waxed and waned with the changing fortunes of the fisheries. In the mid-16th century Vardø
Vardø
had a population of 400 to 500 people. By 1789, however, it had reduced to about 100. In the 17th century, Vardø
Vardø
was the center of a great number of witchcraft trials. More than 90 persons, Norwegian and Sami, were given death sentences. After 1850, the town saw a marked expansion. The fisheries grew in importance, and so did the Pomor trade
Pomor trade
with Russia's White Sea
Sea
region. In 1850 the population reached 400, and in 1910 it passed 3 000. During World War II, with Norway
Norway
occupied by the German Wehrmacht, Vardø
Vardø
was heavily bombed by Allied, mostly Russian forces. Most of the town center was destroyed, and the population was evacuated. After the war, the city center was completely reconstructed. However, older, traditional houses survived in the periphery, such as in the old town in Østervågen. As of 2017, the fishing industry had collapsed. From 1995 to 2017, the population shrunk by 50 percent to 2,100 people. In May 2017 work to lay a new electric cable from the Norwegian mainland to the island began. The additional electricity is needed to power an American-funded radar system located about 40 miles from Russia’s Kola Peninsula, a territory studded with high-security naval bases and restricted military zones. The secrecy surrounding the radar systems has spawned fears that officials are covering up health hazards and other possible dangers. The electromagnetic pulses emitted by the current radar system interfere with television and radio reception and have been blamed by some residents for a rash of miscarriages and cancer cases in a civilian district next to the fenced-in security zone.[7] The town was selected as the millennium site for Finnmark
Finnmark
county. Government[edit] All municipalities in Norway, including Vardø, are responsible for primary education (through 10th grade), outpatient health services, senior citizen services, unemployment and other social services, zoning, economic development, and municipal roads. The municipality is governed by a municipal council of elected representatives, which in turn elect a mayor. Municipal council[edit] The municipal council (Kommunestyre) of Vardø
Vardø
is made up of 19 representatives that are elected to four year terms. Currently, the party breakdown is as follows:[8]

Vardø
Vardø
Kommunestyre 2015–2019

Party Name Name in Norwegian Number of representatives

  Labour Party Arbeiderpartiet 10

  Progress Party Fremskrittspartiet 1

  Conservative Party Høyre 2

  Green Party Miljøpartiet De Grønne 3

  Liberal Party Venstre 2

  Local Lists Lokale lister 1

Total number of members: 19

Geography[edit]

View of Hornøya

Vardø
Vardø
is the easternmost town in Norway
Norway
and the Nordic countries, located at 31°E, which is east of Saint Petersburg, Kiev
Kiev
and Istanbul. The eastern part of Finnmark
Finnmark
is in the same time zone as the rest of the country, even if it is more than an hour at odds with daylight hours. The town itself is on the island of Vardøya, but the municipality includes significant area on the mainland of the Varanger Peninsula, including part of the Varangerhalvøya National Park
Varangerhalvøya National Park
in the southwest. The mountain Domen lies on the shore of the Varanger Peninsula. South of that mountain lies the small Kibergsneset
Kibergsneset
peninsula where the village of Kiberg
Kiberg
is located. The town lies on the island of Vardøya, which is surrounded by a few smaller islands. Hornøya is one of those islands. It lies to the northeast of Vardøya
Vardøya
and it is the site of Vardø
Vardø
Lighthouse. The mouth of the Varangerfjorden
Varangerfjorden
lies along the eastern coast of the municipality. Climate[edit] The port of Vardø, on the Barents Sea, remains ice-free all year round thanks to the effect of the warm North Atlantic drift. Vardø has a tundra climate (Köppen: ETf).[9] that borders on a subarctic climate (Köppen: Dfc). Excluding high mountain areas, Vardø
Vardø
is the only town in Norway
Norway
proper that has polar climate. As its warmest month does not reach 10 °C, the minimum temperature required for tree growth, the land is tundra and is treeless. The "midnight sun" is above the horizon from 16 May to 29 July, and the period with continuous daylight lasts a bit longer, polar night from 24 November to 19 January.

Climate data for Vardø
Vardø
(1981-2010)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 7.3 (45.1) 6.7 (44.1) 8.4 (47.1) 13.3 (55.9) 21.1 (70) 25.8 (78.4) 27.0 (80.6) 25.1 (77.2) 19.9 (67.8) 13.8 (56.8) 10.4 (50.7) 7.3 (45.1) 27 (80.6)

Average high °C (°F) −1.8 (28.8) −2.2 (28) −0.8 (30.6) 1.7 (35.1) 5.1 (41.2) 8.8 (47.8) 11.9 (53.4) 11.7 (53.1) 9.1 (48.4) 4.8 (40.6) 1.0 (33.8) −0.7 (30.7) 4.1 (39.4)

Daily mean °C (°F) −4.2 (24.4) −4.6 (23.7) −2.8 (27) −0.2 (31.6) 3.2 (37.8) 6.8 (44.2) 9.8 (49.6) 9.8 (49.6) 7.3 (45.1) 3.1 (37.6) −1.0 (30.2) −3.0 (26.6) 2.1 (35.8)

Average low °C (°F) −6.6 (20.1) −6.9 (19.6) −4.8 (23.4) −2.1 (28.2) 1.4 (34.5) 4.7 (40.5) 7.7 (45.9) 7.8 (46) 5.4 (41.7) 1.3 (34.3) −2.9 (26.8) −5.4 (22.3) 0.0 (32)

Record low °C (°F) −22.5 (−8.5) −22.7 (−8.9) −20.5 (−4.9) −14.1 (6.6) −10.3 (13.5) −3.9 (25) −1.6 (29.1) −0.4 (31.3) −4.8 (23.4) −13.2 (8.2) −14.8 (5.4) −28.9 (−20.1) −28.9 (−20.1)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 61.2 (2.409) 51.4 (2.024) 42.2 (1.661) 41.0 (1.614) 33.8 (1.331) 42.3 (1.665) 59.6 (2.346) 55.5 (2.185) 46.6 (1.835) 70.1 (2.76) 58.3 (2.295) 61.6 (2.425) 623.7 (24.555)

Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 15.3 12.5 11.6 10.5 8.5 7.8 8.6 8.9 10.7 14.8 13.4 14.4 137.4

Source #1: Norwegian Meteorological Institute[10]

Source #2: Météo Climat [11]

Fauna and flora[edit] The municipality of Vardø
Vardø
with its seabird colonies of Hornøya and Reinøya are amongst the most interesting on this part of the coast. There is a small breeding population of Brunnich's guillemot
Brunnich's guillemot
as well as larger numbers of razorbill and common guillemot. The climate is too cold in summer and too windy in winter for trees. However a few planted trees exist in wind-sheltered locations, generally rowans (See the tourism section). Transportation[edit] The island is connected to the mainland via the undersea Vardø
Vardø
Tunnel (Norway's first such structure). The town's Vardø
Vardø
Airport and the settlement of Svartnes
Svartnes
are located on the mainland opposite the tunnel entrance. Vardø
Vardø
is a port of call on Norway's Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten
ferry service. The town is the northern termination of European route
European route
E75, which starts in Sitia, Crete. Media[edit] The newspaper Østhavet has been published in Vardø
Vardø
since 1997.[12] Economy and tourism[edit]

Officers' quarters at Vardøhus Festning. The sorbus trees can be seen to the left and right of the stairway.

Fishing
Fishing
and seafood processing remain Vardø's major sources of income, although tourism is starting to become an important economic factor. Vardø's tourist attractions include the Vardøhus Festning, a fortress dating back to the 14th century (although the present structure dates from 1734); the witchcraft trials memorial; several sea bird colonies; two museums: the Pomor Museum and the Partisan Museum; and remnants of German fortifications from World War II. The Yukigassen
Yukigassen
competition in Vardø
Vardø
is unique in Norway. Vardøhus Festning is home to two rowan trees which are diligently nurtured and warmed in winter since these trees cannot normally survive in Vardø's cold climate, north of the Arctic tree line. Originally, seven trees were planted in 1960; the one that survived managed to blossom twice, in 1974 and 1981. The tree finally succumbed to cold weather in 2002, but two new saplings have been planted in its place.

Vardøhus Fortress
Vardøhus Fortress
with the city's sole tree, which is wrapped before each winter.

The street of Strandgaten in Vardø

In the summer of 2012, Vardø
Vardø
hosted the urban art event Komafest, where 12 international artists painted tens of the town's abandoned houses in a three-week period. River fishing[edit] Fishing
Fishing
permits (for salmon fishing) are sold for use on specific rivers, including Komag-elva.[13] Globus II
Globus II
Radar[edit] Since 1998, the town has housed a radar installation called Globus II. Its official purpose is the tracking of space junk; however, due to the site's proximity to Russia, and an alleged connection between the Globus II
Globus II
system and US anti-missile systems, the site has been the basis for heated controversy in diplomatic and intelligence circles.[14] Sister cities[edit]

Kemijärvi, Finland

References[edit]

^ "Navn på steder og personer: Innbyggjarnamn" (in Norwegian). Språkrådet. Retrieved 2015-12-01.  ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (2017). "Table: 06913: Population 1 January and population changes during the calendar year (M)" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2017-09-09.  ^ Jukvam, Dag (1999). "Historisk oversikt over endringer i kommune- og fylkesinndelingen" (PDF) (in Norwegian). Statistisk sentralbyrå.  ^ Store norske leksikon. "Vardø" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2013-03-02.  ^ Rygh, Oluf (1924). Norske gaardnavne: Finmarkens amt (in Norwegian) (18 ed.). Kristiania, Norge: W. C. Fabritius & sønners bogtrikkeri. p. 301.  ^ "Kommunevåpen". Flags of the World. 28 June 2002. Retrieved 2008-12-13.  ^ “On a Tiny Norwegian Island, America Keeps an Eye on Russia” by Andrew Higgins, New York Times, June 14, 2017. ^ "Table: 04813: Members of the local councils, by party/electoral list at the Municipal Council election (M)" (in Norwegian). Statistics Norway. 2015.  ^ "Klima en Vardo" (in German). Retrieved 2008-12-13.  ^ "eKlima Web Portal". Norwegian Meteorological Institute. Archived from the original on 2004-06-14.  ^ "Moyenne 1981-2010" (in French). Météo climat. Retrieved 11 January 2017.  ^ Store norske leksikon: Østhavet. ^ "Laksefiske for alle". Aftenposten. 2014-07-19. p. 11.  ^ "Antimissile Front In The Northern Norway". 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vardø.

Vardø
Vardø
travel guide from Wikivoyage Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
Norway
(in Norwegian) Varanger Museum Birding in the Vardø
Vardø
area Varanger.com: tourist information about Varanger area Vardø
Vardø
– Finnmark's millennium town includes pictures

v t e

Municipalities of Finnmark

Alta Båtsfjord Berlevåg Deatnu - Tana Gamvik Hammerfest Hasvik Karasjok Kautokeino Kvalsund Lebesby Loppa Måsøy Nesseby Nordkapp Porsanger Sør-Vara

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