Hammerfest is the gateway to the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean, making it an ideal jumping-off point for Arctic expeditions. More than 600 miles above the Arctic Circle, the world's northernmost town is also one of the most widely visited places in northern Norway. Hammerfest means "mooring place," referring to the town's natural harbor (remarkably free of ice year-round thanks to the Gulf Stream). This place has plenty of history to explore. In 1891, residents grew tired of the months of darkness each winter and decided to brighten their nights. They purchased a generator from Thomas Edison, becoming the first city in Europe to have electric street lamps.
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