Narvik is a city in northern Norway. The town of Narvik has a population of about 14,000, while the entire municipality has a population of about 18,000. The city is located along the southern shore of the Ofot Fjord, and is the centre of the Ofoten district.
The modern city was founded in 1902. It grew up as an important ice-free port for Swedish iron ore exports. Before the port and the iron-ore railway was constructed there were only a few farms on the penninsula. During the first attempt to establish a port and railway the place was called Victoriahamn (Victoria port), after the visit by Crown Princess Victoria of the joint kingdom of Sweden and Norway. When the iron ore railway (known as Ofotbanen in Norway) was finally built from 1898 to 1902 there was an intense activity in Narvik and particularly in the mountains. Thousands of navvies poured in and created a temporary city at Rombaksbotn. The railway construction from Narvik through the wild mountains until the plateau on the Swedish side was a notable engineering achievement. The railway was electrified as early as 1923. Control of the iron ore fields at Kiruna and the port of Narvik was a key motive for German attack in 1940 and the allied intervention.
During and after the German invasion of Norway, Narvik was the scene of fierce battles between allied (British, French and Polish supporting Norwegian army) and German forces, and the war museum commemorates the events of 1940. The Battle of Narvik was the first real engagement between Allied and German troops after months of phony war. The Battle of Narvik was a key event in the early phases of the war. The town was totally destroyed in the process and the fjord was full of shipwrecks. Today, the city offers several outdoor activities; in particular, alpine skiing is possible in the mountains around Narvik.
- 1 Harstad/Narvik Airport, Evenes (EVE IATA). also serves the town Harstad. There are several direct flights daily from Oslo. Flights are also available from Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø, and other mid-sized Norwegian cities. Also used by charter flights. The drawback is that this airport is located 75 km from Narvik; an airport express buses makes the journey in about 75 minutes costing kr 270 one-way and kr 400 return.