Not to be confused with Polaria, a space-age celebration of the Arctic's ecosystems, the Polar Museum showcases the bravery and ingenuity of the 19th- and early-20th-century fishermen, hunters, whalers, trappers, and explorers who made the Arctic their home. The museum is set into an interconnected wood-sided complex of red-painted buildings adjacent to Tromsø's harbor. A bronze statue of explorer Roald Amundsen is positioned directly in front of the museum. Inside, in an antique warehouse whose stout timbers illustrate the construction techniques of the 19th century, you'll find gruesome photographs and dioramas showing how genuinely rough life in the frozen north could be, even as late as the 1960s. On display are antique versions of the hempen ropes, sealskins, sledges, and survival equipment that kept the fishing, hunting, and whaling industries alive. If you ask, a staff member will give you abbreviated pamphlets in English that superficially describe each of the exhibits.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Recommended 2010