Narvik sits at the top of Ofotfjorden, surrounded by majestic mountains.
During World War II, Narvik was a site of strategic importance for both the German and allied forces. On 9 April 1940, Narvik was a primary target in the German invasion; the city was captured, and the Norwegian coastal battleships "Norge" and "Eidsvold" were sunk. The next day, large allied forces descended, and won the city back on 28 May 1940 after fierce battle. On 8 June that same year, the Germans were free to reclaim the city following the Norwegian capitulation. The Narvik campaign was the first allied victory in World War II, to which Norwegian soldiers also contributed. Almost the entire population of 10,000 people were evacuated prior to 8 June 1940, and 165 buildings were completely destroyed.
Today, Narvik is a major communications hub. The Ofoten railway line connects to the Swedish railway network, the E6 runs through the municipality, Evenes Airport is only a short distance away, and there is a boat connection to Svolvær. The municipality's trade and industry make-up is varied, particularly in the service industries, but there is also some traditional industry. In addition, Narvik is the trade centre for the Ofoten region.
The municipality's landscape includes both sea and mountains, and there are ample opportunities for trekking, glacier hiking, hunting and fishing. Winter tourism is thriving, and Narvik has several ski resorts. Just outside the city centre there are gondolas to Fagernesfjellet, and a chairlift from there to the peak.
Key attractions in the city centre include the Freedom Monument, city hall and the nearby War Museum. There are also several churches, including Narvik Church, a long-church built in 1925 from natural rock, and the Peace Chapel, erected in 1957 on the site where a chapel destroyed by wartime battles in 1940 once stood.
Approx. 4000-year-old rock carvings, mostly of animals, can be found in the parkland called Brennholtet in the city centre, at Forselv in Skjomen, and at Herjangen.
Narvik's contribution to the "Footprints in the North" project is the Ofoten line. Learn about its construction history and the heritage behind the line's construction at the turn of the 20th century. The turn-of-the-century access roads have been restored as a heritage hiking trail. The Ofoten line is a popular tourist attraction, and every winter the Winter Festival is held to commemorate the men and women who helped create the foundation for the city by building the Ofoten line.
Area (km2): 2.041
Administrative centre: Narvik
Key industries: Service, trade, industry and mining