Vardø: Pomors, Radars and Witches in the Far North
The orange building coming up on your left is the Pomor Museum, in the warehouse called "Brodtkorpsjåene".
Stop for a moment in front of it.
The word pomor is Russian and means "those who live by the sea". It refers to the Russians who lived by the White Sea, and sailed to Norway in the summer season to fish and trade with Norwegians. Pomor trading began in Finnmark around the 1700s. Vardø is called "The capital of Pomor". This is because we have long traditions of doing trade with Russia.
The Russians brought with them many types of goods, but in essence it was grain and timber which they exchanged for fish.
The pomor trade had its golden age in the 1800’s. Ever year, between 300-400 Russian ships plied their trade with the Norwegian locals.
The pomor trade came to an end with the Russian revolution of 1917.
Every summer a Pomor Festival is held in Vardø, as a tribute to the long tradition of good relations across the border with Russia.
The Pomor Museum contains a two part exhibition. The first part is about the pomors and their everyday lives. The second deals with the contact between northern Norway and northern Russia after the pomor trade declined.
The exhibition was produced in Russia as a result of cooperation with the Arkhangelsk State Museum of Wooden Architecture and Folk Art.
I recommend visiting the museum if you wish to learn more about the Pomors. When you are done, or if you prefer to keep moving now, continue along the path until you reach the road.