At the end of the narrow winding road we reach the small town of Hammingberg. The town is so far away from any other settlement it has sort of been forgotten by time. When the German retreated from the north of Norway in 1944 they burnt every small village in northern Norway so nothing was left behind to the advancing Soviet troops. Well they burnt every village but one – Hammingberg were somehow forgotten.
Nobody really knows why the village survived the general destruction but somehow it did – maybe the remote location just led the village to be forgotten when the plan to burn everything were executed. So this is the one remaining place in northern Norway where you can actually see what the villages used to look like back in the old days. There are a few old surviving timber houses in the village which were built in the 18th and 19th century.
Despite the village survived the war it didn’t last long. The harbor wasn’t suited for modern fishing boats and it was deemed impossible to build a modern harbor here. So finally in 1965 it was decided to abandon the village. A few pensioners decide to stay behind all year even after this decision – but in 1978 the last of the people living in the village all year left. Today the village is only living during the summer when some Norwegian comes up to the north to enjoy the houses as a summer cottage.
The weather up here is not warm – even in the midst of summer the temperature is low up here – on the road to the village we still saw some snows on the cliffs down close to the water. During the dark arctic winter the living conditions up here must have been very harsh.
Just as we arrive in the village we see a lot of reindeer walking around at the outskirts of the village – they do mainly stay outside the village when we are there but there is no fences keeping them out so if there is some nice tasty flowers in the gardens they might be a delicious meal for a reindeer. There is a couple which has moved a bit closer to some of the buildings in the village.
We enjoy the reindeers before we actually get to see the village. The place is fairly small so we can see most of it pretty quickly. There are a few old houses here – they might have survived the war – but there isn’t a lot left. I guess there has never been a huge population up here in the village.
It is fun to see the old houses up here to have an idea of what the place used to look like – though it is a long drive into the village so I guess most people might skip it if they are have a bit of a tight schedule. Hammingberg is really at the end of the road – it may not be the one furthest to the north or the east of Norway but somehow it feels more remote than Honningsvåg or Kirkenes which has the geographical extremes.