Hamar Norway


Hamar, Norway


Hamar is located on the shores of Mjøsa, Norway's largest lake, and is the principal city of the Hedmark county. It is bordered to the northwest by Ringsaker, to the north by Åmot, to the east by Løten, and on the south by Stange.

Hamar is the home of the paddle wheel ship "Skibladner" is the pride of the inland. Launched in 1856, she is the world's oldest paddle steamer in scheduled service. Every summer, she draws her broad, creaming wake across the expanse of Lake Mjøsa. This venerable old lady plies between the villages and towns around Mjøsa: Lillehammer, Moelv, Gjøvik, Hamar and Eidsvoll; quiet country towns basking in the Norwegian summer sunshine.

Domkirkeruinene (cathedral ruins)The Hedmark museum, located on Domkirkeodden is an important historical landmark in Hamar, an out-door museum with remains of the medieval church, in a protective glass housing, the episcopal fortress, and a collection of old farm houses. The museum is a combined medieval, ethnological and archeological museum and has received architectural prizes for its approach to conservation and exhibition. It also houses a vast photography archive for the Hedmark region.

Hamar is also known for its indoor speed skating arena, the Olympia Hall, better known as Vikingskipet ("The Viking ship") for its shape. It was built to host the speed skating competitions of the 1994 Winter Olympics that were held in nearby Lillehammer.

The centre of Hamar is the pedestrian walkway in the middle of town, with the library, cinema and farmer's market on Stortorget (the big square) on the western side, and Østre Torg (the eastern square) on the eastern side.

Hamar is an important railway junction between two different lines to Trondheim. Rørosbanen, the old railway line, branches off from the mainline Dovrebanen. The Norwegian national railway museum (Norsk Jernbanemuseum) is also situated in Hamar.

From the medieval period Hamar has been a connection point for trade, both services and articles. It was not unusual that people from Østerdalen and Gudbrandsdalen came to Hamar to buy everything from the services of a carpenter to the famous triple squared candles. These candles where developed by Kristian Skaaraas and according to folklore were supposed to burn from Christmas until Easter.