Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ultima Europa:

Hamningberg and the witch memorial

Hamningberg, at 70° 32' N, 30° 37' E, quite above the arctic circle, claims to be "The end of Europe".

Once a fishing village, it has been abandonned for many years and is now under recovery for the location, the scenery, historic testimonials and tourism.

Hamningberg has a cultural heritage, preserved houses and a brave past of resilience, all in a fascinating landscape. Vardø is the main nearby town.

At the end of continental road E 75, the village is so totally isolated that german troops missed it in WWII, so it escaped fire and devastation in 1944.

A moon-like terrain of sharp black rocks forms the landscape along the Barents sea coastal road; reins on the beach sand and a low taga vegetation announce the arctic around; in spring, many-coloured flowers decorate the wet lowlands.

The freezing sea, the grey sky, lonely houses, the scenery reeminds us a a Bergman film.

A famous café, the "End of Europe", and a church. That's still Europe indeed!

The preserved past:

And so Europe ends, in memories and ruins...

The Steilenset Memorial,
monument for the victims of the infamous VARDØ WITCH TRIALS

A moving shrine to the 91 vctims of witch persecution, 348 years after a savage trial that condamned the last 20. By the time, Finmark region had a population of about 3000; the murder of 91 had a strong and hard social impact.

Opened on June 2011, it is located by the road from Hamningberg to Vardø, overlooking the Barents sea from the top of the cliff.

The "cube" contains a chair on which a fire burns permanently, surrounded by mirrors.

The "gallery" is an inside corridor through 91 silk drapes.

The Steilenset Memorial is a work of art of swiss achitect Peter Zumthor and french artist Louise Bourgeois.


A post on nearby Vardø here: