The Oldest Vadsø
We love Varanger!
Vadsø is known as «kvenbyen» («the Kvennish town’) and had a Finnish-spmking majority in the 1860s. The Kvens are a Norwegian ethnic minority, descended from Finnish farmers and fishermen who emigrated from northern areas of Finland to Sweden and Norway in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In 1833 Vadsø was awarded the status of market town, with its citizens having a monopoly on trade in the area, and the population of the town grew. In the autumn of 1944 large parts of central Vadsø were bombed and burnt and half of its buildings were destroyed. Today Vadsø is the administrative centre of Finnmark. The municipality has a total population of 6 000, with 5 000 people living in the town and around 1 000 in the surrounding communities.