Vardø: Pomors, Radars and Witches in the Far North
The large building on your right, across the grass is the former Grand Hotel.
It was built in 1914 and dominated the center of Vardø. The hotel was built as an answer to increasing trade and tourism at the time.
Once a permanent steamship route had been established between Arkhangelsk and Vardø in 1875, circumstances were well suited for transit trade and for tourism. The first Grand hotel, which opened during the 1890s, was built especially to cater for well-off Russian tourists.
Vardø’s central area between east and west contains characteristic buildings from several eras, including the old Grand hotel. This was probably the first concrete building in Finnmark, built during the period 1912-1914. Together with the Town Hall, it is clearly visible when emerging from the tunnel to Vardø.
Since it ceased to be run as a hotel, the building has been used as a library, for teaching purposes and as club premises. It has also been partly used as a gallery.
Please continue walking up the Kongens gate, The Kings road. You'll hear from me further ahead.