Polar Museum

Get insight into the history of many polar expeditions and learn about Norway’s heritage of bear trapping and arctic travelers in this intriguing museum.

See exhibits about Norway’s polar seafaring tradition in the Polar Museum. Study the ships and equipment that made these dangerous expeditions possible and learn about the courageous people involved. The Polar Museum is located in the beautiful and lively city of Tromsø in northern Norway.

Learn about Wanny Woldstad, believed to be the first woman to endure the Arctic winter. View an exhibit on Henry Rudi, a trapper who killed more than 700 polar bears. The museum features a range of other exhibits, including displays on seal hunting and notable expeditions dating back to the 16th century.

The permanent exhibit on Henry Rudi tells the story of one of Tromsø’s most dedicated trappers. Rudi spent his first winter on the Norwegian archipelago, Svalbard, in the early 20th century. After a successful first year trapping polar bears, Rudi then spent winter after winter on the rugged glacier island, totaling 27 winters.

A permanent exhibit on winter trapping features a display that depicts the trapping environment. See another exhibit on sealing, including a small seal-hunting vessel dating back to the mid-20th century. Three or more crewmembers usually operated the sealing vessels. Each member had his own special duty, such as rowing and rifleman duties.

Learn about the famous Fridtjof Nansen expedition in another permanent exhibit. Notable explorer Hjalmar Johansen accompanied Nansen on a new record journey north in the late 19th century. See an exact replica of Johansen’s kayak, modeled on the original kayak in the Fram Museum in Oslo.

A number of other historical sites in Tromsø includes the Perspektivet Museum, which aims to preserve the history of the region through photographs and artifacts. This remarkable facility is housed in a beautiful 19th-century neoclassical building and features guided tours.

The Polar Museum is located just a short walk from the center of Tromsø. The museum is open every day of the year. Check the official website for information on admission fees and temporary exhibits. Accommodations are available in Tromsø, with luxury hotels and less expensive guesthouses.

Visit the Polar Museum for artifacts and exhibits on Norway’s extensive polar trapping and seafaring traditions.


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