Narvik Tourist Attractions
The northern Norwegian port of Narvik lies at the western end of a peninsula between the Rombaksfjord to the north and the Beisfjord to the south. Both of these fjords are branches of the Ofotfjord, which gives Narvik its access to the Atlantic.The town, which received its municipal charter in 1902, is of great economic importance as the terminus of the Ofot Railroad (Lapland Railroad) from the Kiruna iron-mines in Sweden and an ice-free port. During the Second World War the German occupation of Norway facilitated the export of Swedish iron ore to Germany. British efforts to prevent this led to fierce fighting, during which Narvik suffered heavy damage. In the postwar reconstruction of the town the old wooden houses were replaced by new stone buildings.Narvik is noted for an abundance of outdoor activities such as alpine skiing, hiking in the mountains, wreck diving in the harbor, fishing, and golfing.
Narvik is divided in two by the extensive installations, modernized and extended in 1977, of the ore terminal. The ore brought from Sweden by rail is carried by long conveyors to various stores and to the Malmkaier (Malm Quays). The port can now handle ore-carriers of up to 350,000 tons, and has a total handling capacity of some 30 million tons a year. To the south of the port, adjoining the loading installations, is a small park with an attractive sculpture of a group of children.
To the east of the railroad line to the ore terminal in Narvik lies Kongensgate, the town's main street. In the Torg (Market Square) stands the Town Hall (1961), in front of which is a large signpost with 23 signs giving the distances to the North Pole and to cities throughout the world. Nearby is a War Museum. At the south end of Kongensgate is the Swedish Seamen's Church (Svensk Sjømannskirke), with a library. Diagonally opposite is a monument commemorating the Norwegian warships "Norge" and "Eidsvold", which were sunk during the fighting in 1940. To the north, beyond the railroad, is the Gulbransonspark, and to the west of this are some 4,000-year-old rock carvings.To the east of the town is the cemetery, with the graves of both Allied and German soldiers.
Narvik to Abisko by Rail
The section of the line within Norwegian territory is known as the Ofot Railroad, the Swedish section as the Lapland Railroad. The line, completed in 1903, serves primarily for the transport of iron ore from the Swedish iron-mining area of Kiruna and Gällivare to Narvik. In good weather a rail trip into Swedish Lapland is a fascinating experience, taking passengers in just under two hours from the western fjords to the desolate Arctic mountains. The best views are on the left-hand side. In addition to the numerous ore trains using the line there are regular passenger trains.From Narvik the line runs along the south side of the Rombaksfjord, already beginning to climb. Beyond Rombak there is a further ascent, with impressive views to the rear of the Rombaksbotn and the end of the fjord. The line traverses numerous tunnels and over viaducts, through country in which trees and shrubs are increasingly rare.
Typical Visit: 2 hours
Beyond Bjørnfjell, the last Norwegian station, the train crosses the watershed between the Arctic and the Baltic (525m/1,720ft) and soon afterwards crosses the frontier into Sweden. 2km/1.25miles beyond this, in a magnificent mountain setting, is the Swedish town of Riksgränsen, in the center of a popular skiing area. Then on to Abisko.
Southeast of Narvik is the Fagernesfjell (1,250m/4,100ft), with a cableway running up to 700m/2,300ft (restaurant at upper station). From the top of the hill there are extensive views; the midnight sun is visible from the end of May to the middle of July. There are excellent skiing facilities on the slopes of the hills round Narvik.
Map of Narvik Attractions