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Tromso History, Norway

Tromso is both a city and a municipality found in the county of Troms in Norway. It is the 2nd biggest city in the country in terms of the number of residents. Aside from this, it is the biggest city in North Norway and the second biggest city in Sapmi.

The city, like the rest of the Tromsoya island, is connected to mainland Norway through the Tromsoysund Tunnel and the Tromso Bridge. Tromso’s weather is warmer compared to other places in Norway due to the Gulf Stream’s warming effect.

Tromso History – Beginnings of the City

The area where Tromso is located already had settlers as early as the end of the ice age. This is according to the oldest roots of Tromso History. It is said that the very first acknowledged culture of the region was the Sami culture.

Tromso History – Middle Ages

It was before the 890 AD when the Vikings started to migrate to other parts of Europe. The Norse speakers, in particular, settled in Norway and are known today as the ancestors of the Norwegians. Tromso’s culture was then transformed due to Norse influences.

When King Hakon Hakonarson reigned over Norway, the first church in Tromso was constructed. This happened in 1252. At about the same time, the building of a turf wall was done to protect the region from invading Russians and Karelians.

Tromso History – 18th Century and 19th Century

In 1794, Tromso was given out its city charter regardless of the fact that the city only had a total of 80 residents. In 1804, the diocese of Halogaland was established and Mathias Bonsach Krogh became its first bishop. Add to this, the institutions of the first shipyard in the city and a teacher training college came to pass.

Tromso came to be recognized as the “Paris of the North” during the 19th century. This may be due to the residents being very civilized individuals. It was also during the 19th century that Tromso became the chief center in the art of Arctic hunting. By the turn of the century, the city had grown into a major trading center and put up many Arctic expeditions.

Tromso History – World War II and Beyond

On April 10, 1940, General Carl Gustav Fleischer flew under terrible conditions and reached Tromso. From the city, he gave out instructions for full military and civilian enlistment and declared Northern Norway as a center of war. Tromso took part in the war against the Nazis and in the battle of Narvik, the allied forces won. The city did not suffer any damages during the Second World War. After the war, Tromso took in many refugees from the province of Finnmark.

Developments in the city took place following the war. With the growth of the city, the population increased.

To learn more about Norway history and other neighboring countries in Europe, get a glimpse of Oulu History and Pori History.

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