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or Finnmárku is a county
Counties of Norway
Norway is divided into 19 administrative regions, called counties . The counties form the primary first-level subdivisions of Norway and are further divided into 430 municipalities...

 in the extreme northeast of Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. By land it borders Troms
Troms
or Romsa is a county in North Norway, bordering Finnmark to the northeast and Nordland in the southwest. To the south is Norrbotten Län in Sweden and further southeast is a shorter border with Lapland Province in Finland. To the west is the Norwegian Sea...

 county to the west, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 (Lapland) to the south and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (Murmansk Oblast
Murmansk Oblast
Murmansk Oblast is a federal subject of Russia , located in the northwestern part of Russia. Its administrative center is the city of Murmansk.-Geography:...

) to the east, and by water, the Norwegian Sea
Norwegian Sea
The Norwegian Sea is a marginal sea in the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Norway. It is located between the North Sea and the Greenland Sea and adjoins the North Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Barents Sea to the northeast. In the southwest, it is separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a...

 (Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about , it covers approximately 20% of the Earth's surface and about 26% of its water surface area...

) to the northwest, and the Barents Sea
Barents Sea
The Barents Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of Norway and Russia. Known in the Middle Ages as the Murman Sea, the sea takes its current name from the Dutch navigator Willem Barents...

 (Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions...

) to the north and northeast.

The county was formerly known as Finmarkens amt or Vardøhus amt, and since 2002, has had two official names: Finnmark (Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

) and Finnmárku (Sami language). It is part of the Sápmi region, which spans four countries, as well as the Barents Region
Barents Region
The Barents Region is a name given, by political ambition to establish international cooperation after the fall of the Soviet Union, to the land along the coast of the Barents Sea, from Nordland in Norway to the Kola Peninsula in Russia and beyond all the way to the Ural Mountains and Novaya...

, and is the largest and least populated county of Norway.

Situated at the Northernmost part of continental Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, where Norway swings eastward, Finnmark has always been an area where east meets west, in culture as well as in nature and geography. Vardø
Vardø
is a town and a municipality in Finnmark county in the extreme northeast part of Norway.Vardø was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 . The law required that all cities should be separated from their rural districts, but because of a low population and very few voters, this was...

, the easternmost municipality in the country, is located farther east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

.

Name



The Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 form of the name was Finnmörk. The first element is finn(ar), the Norse name for the Sámi
SAMI
SAMI is a Microsoft accessibility initiative released in 1998. The structured markup language is designed to simplify creating captions for media playback on a PC, i.e. not for broadcast purposes....

 people. The last element is mörk which means "woodland" or "borderland". In Norse times the name was referring to any places where Sámi people were living (also parts of Southern Norway).

More recently, Finnmark is also the older name for Lapland in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and is used by some inhabitants in this region. The title comes from Linné's
Carolus Linnaeus
Carl Linnaeus , also known after his ennoblement as , was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology...

 expeditions in the northern Nordic
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

 regions during the 18th century, and his choice of name was influenced by the history of the region.

Coat of arms


The coat of arms, Sable, a single-towered castle Or, is from 1967, and shows the old Vardøhus festning
Vardøhus Fortress
Vardøhus Fortress is located in Vardø municipality in the county of Finnmark on the Barents Sea on the mouth of the Varangerfjord in north-eastern Norway near the Russian border.-History:...

.

Geography and environment


Finnmark is the northern- and easternmost county of Norway (Svalbard
Svalbard
Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic, constituting the northernmost part of Norway. It is located north of mainland Europe, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. The group of islands range from 74° to 81° north latitude , and from 10° to 35° east longitude. Spitsbergen is the...

 is not considered a county). In area, Finnmark is Norway's largest county, and is larger than Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. However, with a population of only 72,000, it is also the least populated.
Knivskjellodden
Knivskjellodden
Knivskjellodden, located in the municipality of Nordkapp in Norway is the northernmost point of Magerøya, and is sometimes considered the northernmost point of the entire continent of Europe...

 in Nordkapp
Nordkapp
Nordkapp is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Honningsvåg.Nordkapp was separated from Porsanger on 1 July 1861...

 municipality (on Magerøya
Magerøya
Magerøya is an island in Finnmark county in the extreme north of Norway, in the community of Nordkapp. The island features a bleak, barren tundra-landscape devoid of any trees , with steep cliff faces on the coast and dramatic mountainscapes in the interior. It has an area of...

) is the northernmost point of Europe; Kinnarodden on Nordkinn Peninsula
Nordkinn Peninsula
Nordkinn Peninsula is a peninsula in Finnmark, in northern Norway. Settlement is mostly concentrated on the northern shores and at the base of the peninsula. The main towns are Mehamn, Gamvik and Kjøllefjord. The Slettnes lighthouse near Gamvik is the northernmost lighthouse in mainland Europe.-...

 is the northernmost point on the European mainland. Honningsvåg
Honningsvåg
at 70° 58' N, in Nordkapp municipality, claims to be the northernmost city in Norway and even in the world, although the title is disputed by Hammerfest, Norway; Barrow, Alaska; and Longyearbyen, Svalbard...

 in Finnmark claims the northernmost city of the world, and Vardø
Vardø
is a town and a municipality in Finnmark county in the extreme northeast part of Norway.Vardø was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 . The law required that all cities should be separated from their rural districts, but because of a low population and very few voters, this was...

 is the easternmost town in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

, and is actually east of Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

.

The coast is indented by large fjord
Fjord
Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity.-Formation:A fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley by abrasion of the surrounding bedrock. Glacial melting is accompanied by rebound of Earth's crust as the ice...

s, which in a strict sense are false fjords, as they are not carved out by glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

s. Some of Norway's largest sea bird colonies can be seen on the northern coast, the largest are Hjelmsøystauran in Måsøy
Måsøy
Måsøy is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Havøysund.Måsøy was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

 and Gjesværstappan in Nordkapp
Nordkapp
Nordkapp is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Honningsvåg.Nordkapp was separated from Porsanger on 1 July 1861...

. The highest point is located on the top of the glacier
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

 Øksfjordjøkelen
Øksfjordjøkelen
Øksfjordjøkelen is the ninth largest glacier in mainland Norway.The highest point, elevation , on the glacier is also the highest point in Finnmark county. Its lowest point has an elevation of . The village of Alteidet in Kvænangen is located nearby, along the European route E6....

, which has an area of 45 km² (17.4 sq mi). Both Øksfjordjøkelen and Seilandsjøkelen
Seilandsjøkelen
The glacier Seilandsjøkelen is located on the island Seiland in Finnmark, Norway. It covers an area of around 14 km², in the municipalites Hammerfest, Kvalsund and Alta. The glacier is included in the Seiland National Park....

 (Seiland glacier) are located in the western part of Finnmark.
The Øksfjord plateau glacier calved
Ice calving
Ice calving, also known as glacier calving or iceberg calving, is a form of ice ablation or ice disruption. It is the sudden release and breaking away of a mass of ice from a glacier, iceberg, ice front, ice shelf, or crevasse...

 directly into the sea (Jøkelfjorden) until 1900, the last glacier in mainland Norway to do so. The central and eastern part of Finnmark is generally less mountainous, and has no glaciers. The land east of Nordkapp is mostly below 300 m (984.3 ft).

The nature varies from barren coastal areas facing the Barents Sea
Barents Sea
The Barents Sea is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean, located north of Norway and Russia. Known in the Middle Ages as the Murman Sea, the sea takes its current name from the Dutch navigator Willem Barents...

, to more sheltered fjord areas and river valleys with gullies and tree vegetation. About half of the county is above the tree line, and large parts of the other half is covered with small Downy birch
Downy Birch
Betula pubescens is a species of birch, native and abundant throughout northern Europe, Iceland, northern Asia and also Greenland....

.

The most lush areas are the Alta
Alta, Norway
-Birdlife:For those interested in bird watching, the river outlet, known locally as Altaosen is well worth a visit. This tidal area is used as a stopover for many wetland species.-Transportation:...

 area and the Tana
Tana River (Norway)
Tana river , is a long river in Sápmi, in the Norwegian county of in Finnmark and the Lapland of Finland. The Sámi name means "Great River". The main tributaries of Tana are Anarjohka and Karasjohka....

 valleys, and in the east is the lowland area in the Pasvik
Pasvik
Pasvik is a village in Northern Norway....

 valley in Sør-Varanger
Sør-Varanger
Sør-Varanger is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Kirkenes. Sør-Varanger was separated from the municipality of Vadsø on 1 July 1858.-Name:...

, where the pine
Scots Pine
Pinus sylvestris, commonly known as the Scots Pine, is a species of pine native to Europe and Asia, ranging from Scotland, Ireland and Portugal in the west, east to eastern Siberia, south to the Caucasus Mountains, and as far north as well inside the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia...

 and Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

n spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

 forest is considered part of the Russian taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

 vegetation. This valley has the highest density of Brown bear
Brown Bear
The brown bear is a large bear distributed across much of northern Eurasia and North America. It can weigh from and its largest subspecies, the Kodiak Bear, rivals the polar bear as the largest member of the bear family and as the largest land-based predator.There are several recognized...

s in Norway, and is the only location in the country with a population of musk-rats. Lynx
Lynx
A lynx is any of the four Lynx genus species of medium-sized wildcats. The name "lynx" originated in Middle English via Latin from Greek word "λύγξ", derived from the Indo-European root "*leuk-", meaning "light, brightness", in reference to the luminescence of its reflective eyes...

 and elk
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

 are common in large parts of Finnmark, but rare on the coast.
In the interior is the Finnmarksvidda
Finnmarksvidda
Finnmarksvidda or the Finnmark plateau; Finnmark highland, is Norway's largest plateau, with an area greater than 22,000 km². It lies at 300–500 meters above sea level...

 plateau, with an elevation of 300 metre, with numerous lakes and river valleys, and famous for its tens of thousands of reindeer
Reindeer
The reindeer , also known as the caribou in North America, is a deer from the Arctic and Subarctic, including both resident and migratory populations. While overall widespread and numerous, some of its subspecies are rare and one has already gone extinct.Reindeer vary considerably in color and size...

 owned by the Sami
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

, and swarms of mosquito
Mosquito
Mosquitoes are members of a family of nematocerid flies: the Culicidae . The word Mosquito is from the Spanish and Portuguese for little fly...

s in mid-summer. Finnmarksvidda makes up 36% of the county's area. Stabbursdalen
Stabbursdalen
Stabbursdalen National Park lies in North Norway. It contains the northern-most Pine Forest in the world. It is located in Porsanger, Norway.- The national park :...

 national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

 ensures protection for the world's most northern
The world's most northern
This is a list of various northernmost things on earth.- Cities and settlements :See also: Northernmost settlements, Northernmost cities and towns-Geography:-Animals:-General:-Shrubs:-Trees:-Culture and music:-Sport :- Religion :...

 pine
Scots Pine
Pinus sylvestris, commonly known as the Scots Pine, is a species of pine native to Europe and Asia, ranging from Scotland, Ireland and Portugal in the west, east to eastern Siberia, south to the Caucasus Mountains, and as far north as well inside the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia...

 forest.

The Tanaelva
Tana River (Norway)
Tana river , is a long river in Sápmi, in the Norwegian county of in Finnmark and the Lapland of Finland. The Sámi name means "Great River". The main tributaries of Tana are Anarjohka and Karasjohka....

, which partly defines the border with Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, gives the largest catch of salmon
Salmon
Salmon is the common name for several species of fish in the family Salmonidae. Several other fish in the same family are called trout; the difference is often said to be that salmon migrate and trout are resident, but this distinction does not strictly hold true...

 of all rivers in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, and also has the world record for Atlantic salmon
Atlantic salmon
The Atlantic salmon is a species of fish in the family Salmonidae, which is found in the northern Atlantic Ocean and in rivers that flow into the north Atlantic and the north Pacific....

, 36 kg (79.4 lb). In the east, the Pasvikelva defines the border with Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.

Climate


Finnmarksvidda
Finnmarksvidda
Finnmarksvidda or the Finnmark plateau; Finnmark highland, is Norway's largest plateau, with an area greater than 22,000 km². It lies at 300–500 meters above sea level...

 in the interior of the county has a continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

 with the coldest winter temperatures in Norway: the coldest temperature ever recorded was -51.4 C in Karasjok
Karasjok
Kárášjohka or is a village and municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Karasjok.-Name:Karasjok is a Norwegianized form of the Sámi name Kárášjohka...

 on 1 January 1886. The 24-hour averages for January and July at the same location are -17.1 C and 13.1 °C (55.6 °F), the annual average is -2.4 C, and precipitation is only 366 mm (14.4 in) per year with summer as the wettest season. Karasjok has recorded up to 32.4 °C (90.3 °F) in July, giving a possible year amplitude of 84°C (151.2°F) (rare in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

). Finnmarksvidda has annual mean temperatures down to -3 C (Sihcajavri in Kautokeino
Kautokeino
or Guovdageaidnu , is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino...

), the coldest in mainland Norway (except for higher mountains areas) and even colder than Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen Island is a volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean and part of the Kingdom of Norway. It is long and 373 km2 in area, partly covered by glaciers . It has two parts: larger northeast Nord-Jan and smaller Sør-Jan, linked by an isthmus wide...

 and Bear Island. However, Sihcajavri has also recorded the warmest temperature ever in North Norway: 34.3 °C (93.7 °F) on 23 June 1920.

Due to the proximity to the ice-free ocean, winters are much milder in coastal areas (and more windy); Loppa
Loppa
Loppa is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Øksfjord. Loppa was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

 has average January and July temperatures of -2 C and 11.6 °C (52.9 °F) respectively, with an annual mean of 3.6 °C (38.5 °F), despite being further north. Average annual precipitation is 914 mm (36 in) and the wettest season is September until December. The year average temperature difference between Loppa and Karasjok (6°C) is comparable to the difference between Loppa and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

In the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

, the climate in Karasjok–and most of the lowland areas in Finnmark–corresponds to the Dfc category (subarctic climate
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

), while the Loppa climate corresponds to the Cfc category. The northeastern coast, from Nordkapp
Nordkapp
Nordkapp is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Honningsvåg.Nordkapp was separated from Porsanger on 1 July 1861...

 east to Vardø
Vardø
is a town and a municipality in Finnmark county in the extreme northeast part of Norway.Vardø was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 . The law required that all cities should be separated from their rural districts, but because of a low population and very few voters, this was...

, have arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

 climate (Köppen: ETf), as the average July temperature is below 10 °C (50 °F).
Furthermore, elevations exceeding approximately 100 metre in coastal areas in western Finnmark and 300 metre in the interior result in an alpine climate
Alpine climate
Alpine climate is the average weather for a region above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as mountain climate or highland climate....

, and in the northeast this merges with the Arctic tundra climate
Polar climate
Regions with a polar climate are characterized by a lack of warm summers . Regions with polar climate cover over 20% of the Earth. The sun shines 24 hours in the summer, and barely ever shines at all in the winter...

.

The climate in sheltered parts of fjord areas (particularly Altafjord) is usually considered the most hospitable: winters are not as cold as in the interior, and summer warmth is comparable. Even if winter temperatures are milder in coastal areas, the coast is more exposed to winter storm
Storm
A storm is any disturbed state of an astronomical body's atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather...

s, which often complicate or shut down road and air communications.

Midnight sun



Situated far north of the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. For Epoch 2011, it is the parallel of latitude that runs north of the Equator....

, Finnmark has midnight sun
Midnight sun
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon occurring in summer months at latitudes north and nearby to the south of the Arctic Circle, and south and nearby to the north of the Antarctic Circle where the sun remains visible at the local midnight. Given fair weather, the sun is visible for a continuous...

 from middle of May until late July. And in two months of the winter, from late November to late January, the county experiences polar night
Polar night
The polar night occurs when the night lasts for more than 24 hours. This occurs only inside the polar circles. The opposite phenomenon, the polar day, or midnight sun, occurs when the sun stays above the horizon for more than 24 hours.-Description:...

s where the sun is always below the horizon. As a consequence, there is continuous daylight from early May to early August. At midwinter, there is only a bluish twilight
Twilight
Twilight is the time between dawn and sunrise or between sunset and dusk, during which sunlight scattering in the upper atmosphere illuminates the lower atmosphere, and the surface of the earth is neither completely lit nor completely dark. The sun itself is not directly visible because it is below...

 for a couple of hours around noon, which can almost reach full daylight if there are clear skies to the south.

Northern lights


Finnmark is situated in the Aurora Borealis
Aurora (astronomy)
An aurora is a natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude regions, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere...

 zone, and because of the dry climate with frequent clear skies, Alta
Alta, Norway
-Birdlife:For those interested in bird watching, the river outlet, known locally as Altaosen is well worth a visit. This tidal area is used as a stopover for many wetland species.-Transportation:...

 was early chosen as a location for the study of this strange light phenomenon. For this reason, Alta
Alta, Norway
-Birdlife:For those interested in bird watching, the river outlet, known locally as Altaosen is well worth a visit. This tidal area is used as a stopover for many wetland species.-Transportation:...

 is sometimes referred to as the city of the northern lights.

Administration and economy



Vadsø
Vadsø
is a city and municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The city is the administrative centre of the municipality and the county of Finnmark....

 is the capital city of the county of Finnmark, although Alta
Alta, Norway
-Birdlife:For those interested in bird watching, the river outlet, known locally as Altaosen is well worth a visit. This tidal area is used as a stopover for many wetland species.-Transportation:...

 has the largest population. Fisheries have traditionally been the most important way of living along the coast, where the majority of the Norwegian population live. The red king crab
Paralithodes camtschaticus
The red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, is a species of king crab native to the Bering Sea. It grows to a leg span of , and is heavily targeted by fisheries.-Description:...

, originally from the northern Pacific ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 but brought to the Barents sea by the Russians, have invaded from the east and are now being exploited commercially (especially in Varangerfjord
Varangerfjord
The Varangerfjord in the county of Finnmark, is the easternmost fjord in Norway. It is approximately long. In a strict sense, it is a false fjord, as it does not have the hallmarks of a fjord carved by glaciers....

). To prevent the crab from spreading too far south, crab fishing west of Nordkapp is totally unregulated. The slate
Slate
Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. The result is a foliated rock in which the foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering...

 industry in Alta is well known, and have sold to customers as far away as Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. Kirkenes
Kirkenes
is a town in the municipality of Sør-Varanger in the county of Finnmark in the far northeast of Norway...

 grew into a town as the exploitation of the iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 ores
Orés
Orés is a municipality in the Cinco Villas, in the province of Zaragoza, in the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain. It belongs to the comarca of Cinco Villas. It is placed 104 km to the northwest of the provincial capital city, Zaragoza. Its coordinates are: 42° 17' N, 1° 00' W, and is...

 started, but AS Sydvaranger
Sydvaranger
Sydvaranger was the company that operated the Bjørnevatn Mine in Kirkenes, Norway between the start in 1906 until 1996. Since then the company has mainly been concerned with cleaning up the industrial areas and business development...

 closed down their iron ore activities in 1996.

In more recent years, tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 has grown in importance, with Nordkapp (North Cape
North Cape, Norway
North Cape is a cape on the island of Magerøya in Northern Norway, in the municipality of Nordkapp. Its 307 m high, steep cliff is often referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, located at , 2102.3 km from the North Pole. However, the neighbouring point Knivskjellodden is actually...

), Alta and Hammerfest as the most important destinations.

There are two hospital
Hospital
A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment by specialized staff and equipment. Hospitals often, but not always, provide for inpatient care or longer-term patient stays....

s in Finnmark, located in Kirkenes
Kirkenes
is a town in the municipality of Sør-Varanger in the county of Finnmark in the far northeast of Norway...

 and Hammerfest
Hammerfest
is a city and municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The municipality encompasses parts of three islands: Kvaløya, Sørøya, and Seiland. Hammerfest was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

. There are a total number of eleven airports, but only Alta Airport
Alta Airport
Alta Airport is the airport of Alta, Norway. It is located about northeast of the town center of Alta, near the community Elvebakken on the southern shore of the Altafjord. The airport has a single paved runway. The government-owned Avinor is responsible for operations...

 and Kirkenes-Høybuktmoen Airport
Kirkenes Airport, Høybuktmoen
Kirkenes Airport, Høybuktmoen is the airport serving Kirkenes in eastern Finnmark, Norway. Høybuktmoen is located west of Kirkenes, at the base of a peninsula jutting into Varangerfjord...

 have direct flights to Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

. In addition, Lakselv-Banak Airport
Lakselv Airport, Banak
Lakselv Airport, Banak is located 1,5 km from the town of Lakselv in the municipality of Porsanger in Finnmark county, in northern Norway. The airport also serves Karasjok, some 74 km to the south, with a corresponding airport coach six days a week...

 in Porsanger
Porsanger
Porsanger or Porsáŋgu or Porsanki is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Lakselv...

 is used for training purposes by the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 and other NATO allies, in conjunction with the nearby Halkavarre shooting range, which allows for practice with precision guided munitions. Garnisonen i Porsanger
Garnisonen i Porsanger
Garnisonen i Porsanger, based at Porsangmoen in Porsanger, is the world's northernmost military garrison at 70 degrees northern latitude, located in the Norwegian county of Finnmark....

 is also located near Halkavarre training area. There is also the Garnisonen i Sør-Varanger
Garnisonen i Sør-Varanger
The Sør-Varanger Garrison is a military camp located next to Høybuktmoen Airport near Kirkenes in Sør-Varanger, Norway. The Garrison is under the control of the Norwegian Army and is organized as a battalion. The garrison...

 (Gsv
Garnisonen i Sør-Varanger
The Sør-Varanger Garrison is a military camp located next to Høybuktmoen Airport near Kirkenes in Sør-Varanger, Norway. The Garrison is under the control of the Norwegian Army and is organized as a battalion. The garrison...

) in the east, which guards the border with Russia. Hammerfest is now experiencing an economic boom as a consequence of Statoil
Statoil
Statoil ASA is a Norwegian petroleum company established in 1972. It merged with Norsk Hydro in 2007 and was known as StatoilHydro until 2009, when the name was changed back to Statoil ASA. The brand Statoil was retained as a chain of fuel stations owned by StatoilHydro...

's construction of the large land-based LNG site at Melkøya, which will get natural gas from the Snøhvit
Snøhvit
Snøhvit is the name of a natural gas field in the Norwegian Sea, situated northwest of Hammerfest, Norway. The northern part of the Norwegian Sea is often described as the Barents Sea by offshore petroleum companies...

 field. A new oil field
Oil field
An oil field is a region with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum from below ground. Because the oil reservoirs typically extend over a large area, possibly several hundred kilometres across, full exploitation entails multiple wells scattered across the area...

 was recently discovered just 45 km (28 mi) off shore, close to the Snøhvit field.

There is also optimism in the eastern part of the county, as the growing petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 activity in the Barents Sea is expected to generate increased economic activity on land as well.

The Finnmark Estate agency owns and manages about 95% of the land in Finnmark, and is governed in tandem by Finnmark County and the Sami Parliament of Norway
Sami Parliament of Norway
The Sami Parliament of Norway is the representative body for people of Sami heritage in Norway. It acts as an institution of cultural autonomy for the indigenous Sami people....

.

Municipalities


Currently, there are 19 municipalities in Finnmark.
Municipalities in Finnmark
Key
  1. Alta
    Alta, Norway
    -Birdlife:For those interested in bird watching, the river outlet, known locally as Altaosen is well worth a visit. This tidal area is used as a stopover for many wetland species.-Transportation:...

  2. Berlevåg
    Berlevåg
    is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Berlevåg. Berlevåg was separated from the municipality of Tana to form a municipality of its own on 1 July 1913....

  3. Båtsfjord
    Båtsfjord
    Båtsfjord is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Båtsfjord.Vardø herred was separated from the town of Vardø in 1868 to be a municipality of its own. In 1957, the municipality was renamed Båtsfjord...

  4. Gamvik
    Gamvik
    is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Mehamn. The municipality of Gamvik was separated from Tana on 1 July 1913....

  5. Hammerfest
    Hammerfest
    is a city and municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The municipality encompasses parts of three islands: Kvaløya, Sørøya, and Seiland. Hammerfest was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

  6. Hasvik
    Hasvik
    Hasvik is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Breivikbotn. Hasvik was separated from the municipality of Loppa on 1 January 1858....

  7. Kárášjohka - Karasjok
  8. Guovdageaidnu - Kautokeino
  9. Kvalsund
    Kvalsund
    Kvalsund is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Kvalsund. Kvalsund was separated from the municipality of Sørøysund on 1 July 1869....

  10. Lebesby
    Lebesby
    Lebesby is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Kjøllefjord. Lebesby is also the name of a village in the municipality....

  11. Loppa
    Loppa
    Loppa is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Øksfjord. Loppa was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

  12. Måsøy
    Måsøy
    Måsøy is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Havøysund.Måsøy was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

  13. Unjárga - Nesseby
  14. Nordkapp
    Nordkapp
    Nordkapp is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Honningsvåg.Nordkapp was separated from Porsanger on 1 July 1861...

  15. Porsanger or Porsángu or Porsanki
    Porsanger
    Porsanger or Porsáŋgu or Porsanki is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Lakselv...

  16. Sør-Varanger
    Sør-Varanger
    Sør-Varanger is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Kirkenes. Sør-Varanger was separated from the municipality of Vadsø on 1 July 1858.-Name:...

  17. Deatnu - Tana
  18. Vadsø
    Vadsø
    is a city and municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The city is the administrative centre of the municipality and the county of Finnmark....

  19. Vardø
    Vardø
    is a town and a municipality in Finnmark county in the extreme northeast part of Norway.Vardø was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 . The law required that all cities should be separated from their rural districts, but because of a low population and very few voters, this was...



History


People have lived in Finnmark for at least 10,000 years (see Komsa
Komsa
The Komsa culture was a Mesolithic culture of hunter-gatherers that existed from around 10000 BC in Northern Norway.The culture is named after the Komsa Mountain in the community of Alta, Finnmark, where the remains of the culture were first discovered...

, Pit-Comb Ware culture
Pit-Comb Ware culture
The Pit–Comb Ware culture Comb Ceramic culture was a northeast European culture of pottery-making hunter-gatherers. It existed from around 4200 BC to around 2000 BC...

 and Rock carvings at Alta
Rock carvings at Alta
The Rock art of Alta are located in and around the municipality of Alta in the county of Finnmark in northern Norway. Since the first carvings were discovered in 1972, more than 6000 carvings have been found on several sites around Alta...

). The destiny of these early cultures is unknown. Three ethnic groups have a long history in Finnmark: the Sami people
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

, the Norwegians and the Kven people. Of these the Sami probably were the first people to explore Finnmark. Small groups of Sami may have entered this area as early as the 9th century. Ohthere of Hålogaland was an adventurous Norwegian (Norseman) from Hålogaland, the area roughly corresponding to today's Nordland
Nordland
is a county in Norway in the North Norway region, bordering Troms in the north, Nord-Trøndelag in the south, Norrbottens län in Sweden to the east, Västerbottens län to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The county was formerly known as Nordlandene amt. The county administration is...

 county. Around 890 AD, he claimed, according to historical sources (see Ohthere of Hålogaland) that he lived "north-most of all the Northmen", and that "no-one [lived] to the north of him." Later, Norwegians in the 14th century, and Kvens in the 16th century, settled along the coast. See the articles on Kven people and Vardøhus Fortress
Vardøhus Fortress
Vardøhus Fortress is located in Vardø municipality in the county of Finnmark on the Barents Sea on the mouth of the Varangerfjord in north-eastern Norway near the Russian border.-History:...

 for more details.

Sami


The Sami are the indigenous people of Finnmark, but Norwegians have lived for hundreds of years on the islands' outer parts, where they made up the majority. The Sami people
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

 still constitute the majority in Finnmark's interior parts, while the fjord areas have been ethnically mixed for a long time. In essence, this still holds true today. The Sami were for many years victims of the Norwegianization
Norwegianization
Norwegianization is a term used to described the official government policy carried out by the Norwegian government against the Sami and later the Kven people of northern Norway to assimilate non-Norwegian-speaking native populations into an ethnically and culturally uniform Norwegian population...

policy, which in essence was a deliberate attempt by the Norwegian government to make them "true" Norwegians and forget about their Sami way of life and religion, which was seen as inferior. As a result of this, the Sami living at the coast and in the fjords gradually lost much of their culture and often felt ashamed by their Sami inheritance. The Sami in the interior managed to preserve more of their culture. However, in the 1970s, instruction of the Sami language started in the schools, and a new sense of consciousness started to grow among the Sami; today most are proud of their Sami background and culture. In the midst of this awakening (1979), Norway's government decided to build a dam
Dam
A dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. Hydropower and pumped-storage hydroelectricity are...

 in Alta to produce hydropower
Hydropower
Hydropower, hydraulic power, hydrokinetic power or water power is power that is derived from the force or energy of falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes. Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as...

, provoking many Sami and environmentalist
Environmentalist
An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities"...

s to demonstrations and civil disobedience (Altasaken). In the end, the dam was built on a much smaller scale than originally intended and the Sami culture was on the government's agenda. The Sami parliament (Sámediggi) was opened in Karasjok in 1989.

Norwegian


Gjesvær in Nordkapp is mentioned in the Sagas
Sagàs
Sagàs is a small town and municipality located in Catalonia, in the comarca of Berguedà. It is located in the geographical area of the pre-Pyrenees.-Population:...

 (Heimskringla
Heimskringla
Heimskringla is the best known of the Old Norse kings' sagas. It was written in Old Norse in Iceland by the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson ca. 1230...

) as a northern harbor in the viking age
Viking Age
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...

, especially used by Vikings on the way to Bjarmaland
Bjarmaland
Bjarmaland was a territory mentioned in Norse sagas up to the Viking Age and - beyond - in geographical accounts until the 16th century. The term is usually seen to have referred to the southern shores of the White Sea and the basin of the Northern Dvina River and - presumably - some of the...

 (see Ottar from Hålogaland
Ottar from Hålogaland
Ohthere of Hålogaland was a Viking adventurer from Hålogaland. Around 890 AD he travelled to England, where Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, had his tales written down....

), and probably also for gathering food in the nearby seabird colony. Coastal areas of Finnmark were colonized by Norwegians beginning in the 10th century, and there are stories describing clashes with the karelians
Karelians
The Karelians are a Baltic-Finnic ethnic group living mostly in the Republic of Karelia and in other north-western parts of the Russian Federation. The historic homeland of Karelians includes also parts of present-day Eastern Finland and the formerly Finnish territory of Ladoga Karelia...

. Border skirmishes between the Norwegians and Novgorodians continued until 1326, when the Treaty of Novgorod settled the issue.

The first known fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

 in Finnmark is Vardøhus festning
Vardøhus Fortress
Vardøhus Fortress is located in Vardø municipality in the county of Finnmark on the Barents Sea on the mouth of the Varangerfjord in north-eastern Norway near the Russian border.-History:...

, first erected in 1306 by King Haakon V Magnusson. This is the world's most northern
The world's most northern
This is a list of various northernmost things on earth.- Cities and settlements :See also: Northernmost settlements, Northernmost cities and towns-Geography:-Animals:-General:-Shrubs:-Trees:-Culture and music:-Sport :- Religion :...

 fortress. In the 17th century, 88 young women were burned as witches in Vardø, an extremely high number compared to the total population in this area at the time.

Finnmark first became subject to increased colonization in the 18th and 19th century. Norway, Sweden and Russia all claimed control over this area. Finnmark was given the status of an Amt
Amt (subnational entity)
Amt is a type of administrative division governing a group of municipalities, today only found in Germany, but formerly also common in northern European countries. Its size and functions differ by country and the term is roughly equivalent to a U.S...

(county) in the 19th century. For a time, there was a vibrant trade with Russia (Pomor
Pomors
Pomors or Pomory are Russian settlers and their descendants on the White Sea coast. It is also term of self-identification for the descendants of Russian, primarily Novgorod, settlers of Pomorye , living on the White Sea coasts and the territory whose southern border lies on a watershed which...

 Trade), and many Norwegians settled on the Kola Peninsula
Kola Peninsula
The Kola Peninsula is a peninsula in the far northwest of Russia. Constituting the bulk of the territory of Murmansk Oblast, it lies almost completely to the north of the Arctic Circle and is washed by the Barents Sea in the north and the White Sea in the east and southeast...

 (see Kola Norwegians
Kola Norwegians
The Kola Norwegians were Norwegian settlers along the coastline of the Kola Peninsula in Russia.-History:In 1860 the Russian Tsar Alexander II granted permission for Norwegian settlements on the Kola. Around 1870, scores of families from Finnmark in northern Norway departed for the Kola coast,...

).

Kven


The Finnic
Finnic languages
The term Finnic languages often means the Baltic-Finnic languages, an undisputed branch of the Uralic languages. However, it is also commonly used to mean the Finno-Permic languages, a hypothetical intermediate branch that includes Baltic Finnic, or the more disputed Finno-Volgaic languages....

 Kven residents of Finnmark are largely descendants of Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 immigrants who arrived in the area during the 19th century - or before - from Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, suffering from famine
Famine
A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

 and war.

World War II


Towards the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, with Operation Nordlicht, the Germans used the scorched earth
Scorched earth
A scorched earth policy is a military strategy or operational method which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area...

 tactic in Finnmark and northern Troms
Troms
or Romsa is a county in North Norway, bordering Finnmark to the northeast and Nordland in the southwest. To the south is Norrbotten Län in Sweden and further southeast is a shorter border with Lapland Province in Finland. To the west is the Norwegian Sea...

 to halt the victorious Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

. As a consequence of this, few houses survived the war, and a large part of the population was forcefully evacuated further south (Tromsø was crowded), but many peoples avoided evacuation by hiding in caves and mountain huts and waited until the Germans were gone, then inspected their burned homes. There were 11,000 houses, 4,700 cow sheds, 106 schools, 27 churches, and 21 hospitals burned. There were 22,000 communications lines destroyed, roads were blown up, boats destroyed, animals killed, and 1,000 children separated from parents.

However, after liberating Kirkenes
Kirkenes
is a town in the municipality of Sør-Varanger in the county of Finnmark in the far northeast of Norway...

 on 25 October 1944 (as the first town in Norway), the Red Army did not attempt further offensives in Norway. The town was peacefully handed over to Norway as the war ended. When war was over, more than 70,000 peoples were left homeless in Finnmark. The government imposed a temporary disallow on return to Finnmark because of the danger of landmines until summer of 1945 evacuees can return to home.

Cold War


The Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 was a period with sometimes high tension in eastern Finnmark, at the 196 km long border with the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. To keep tensions from getting too high, Norway declared that no NATO exercises would take place in Finnmark. There were, however, a lot of military intelligence activity, and Norwegian P-3 Orion
P-3 Orion
The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or...

 maritime surveillance aircraft were often the first to get pictures of newly built Soviet submarines and aircraft. A purpose built ELINT vessel, the Marjata, was always stationed near the border, and the current Marjata
Marjata
The F/S «Marjata» is a purpose-built electronic intelligence collection vessel . She is the third ship that bears the name «Marjata», all of which has been used for military intelligence purposes by the Norwegian Armed Forces...

 (7500 t, is still operating out of the ports in eastern Finnmark. As recent as 2000, Russian generals threatened to target nuclear missiles at the Globus II
Globus II
Globus II is a radar station located at in Vardø, Norway, near the Russian border.-Purpose and use:The site is administrated by the Norwegian Intelligence Service who state the radar is used for:*Space surveillance...

 Radar in Vardø
Vardø
is a town and a municipality in Finnmark county in the extreme northeast part of Norway.Vardø was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 . The law required that all cities should be separated from their rural districts, but because of a low population and very few voters, this was...

 ).

Demographics



The old stoneage Komsa
Komsa
The Komsa culture was a Mesolithic culture of hunter-gatherers that existed from around 10000 BC in Northern Norway.The culture is named after the Komsa Mountain in the community of Alta, Finnmark, where the remains of the culture were first discovered...

 culture
is very difficult to relate to the people living in Finnmark today. There are findings suggesting that the Sami people have been here for a long time, but exactly how long is unclear, some scholars claim 8000 years, while some claim only 2500 years. From the Middle Ages, starting in the 10th century, the coastal areas have been populated and visited by ethnic Norwegians, and Finnmark became part of the kingdom.

The Sami
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

 core areas in Norway are in Finnmark, where they constitute about one-quarter of the total population. The county and the municipalities Kautokeino
Kautokeino
or Guovdageaidnu , is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino...

, Karasjok
Karasjok
Kárášjohka or is a village and municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Karasjok.-Name:Karasjok is a Norwegianized form of the Sámi name Kárášjohka...

, Tana, Nesseby
Nesseby
Unjárga or Nesseby is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Varangerbotn....

, Porsanger
Porsanger
Porsanger or Porsáŋgu or Porsanki is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Lakselv...

, Kåfjord (in Troms), Tysfjord
Tysfjord
Tysfjord or Divtasvuodna is a municipality in Nordland county, Norway. It is part of the Ofoten traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Kjøpsvik...

 (in Nordland) and Snåsa
Snåsa
Snåsa is a municipality in Nord-Trøndelag county, Norway. It is part of the Innherred region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Snåsa. Other villages include Agle and Jørstad....

 (in Nord-Trøndelag) also have official names in the Sami language
Sami languages
Sami or Saami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken by the Sami people in parts of northern Finland, Norway, Sweden and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. Sami is frequently and erroneously believed to be a single language. Several names are used for the Sami...

. Most municipalities in Sápmi, however, have unofficial names in Sámi as well.

In the 19th century up to World War II many Finnish speaking immigrants  settled in Finnmark. Since 1996, they have had minority status as Kven people. Vadsø (Vesisaari in Kven) is often seen as the Kven capital in Finnmark.

Lakselv in central Finnmark is sometimes referred to as meeting place for three tribes. In recent years, with the Russian immigrants arriving in Kirkenes, this town is actually a meeting place for four cultures.

External links