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Hammerfest, Norway


Founded in 1838, Hammerfest was razed repeatedly over the years by storms, fires and most savagely by retreating German soldiers at the end of World War II. Now almost completely rebuilt (it was Europe's first city with electric street lights), Hammerfest is known for its colorful homes lining the sea, contemporary attractions and passion for welcoming visitors to its pristine Arctic environs. The most avant-garde building is the striking Kirkegata church with its tent-shaped gable. But don't miss the whaling artifacts in the museum in Market Square, or the panoramic view atop Salen ridge.