North Cape 71’10’21
For centuries, the North Cape at 71°10’21” has attracted adventurers from all corners of the world who seek to experience what many thought was Europe’s *northernmost point—the North Cape plateau. Recently, people seem to have had one common goal, to see the “Globe”, which was built in 1978. Today, however, the North Cape plateau has so much more to offer. The North Cape Hall houses the North Cape’s fascinating history, as well as an inviting gift shop, places to eat and a unique panoramic film, to mention just a few things.
In 1553, three ships set sail on an expedition from England to search for the Northeast Passage. Two of the ships never returned home. The third, carrying Richard Chancellor, sailed past a mighty mountain cliff and gave it a name—the North Cape. More than 100 years later, the Italian priest, Francesco Negri, arrived at the same cliff. He is considered the first tourist to visit the North Cape and described it as the end of the world when he visited the mountain plateau in the winter of 1664. It took another 200 years before tourism on the North Cape would really explode. The Norwegian-Swedish Union King, Oscar II visited the North Cape in 1873. His visit triggered a wave of interest in the international press and a monument was raised on the plateau to commemorate his visit. The statue was put into place on 26 June 1873 and was unveiled by King Oscar II on 2 July 1873. It carries the inscription “King Oscar II visited the North Cape 2 July 1873”.
As early as 1875, the first group of travellers arrived on cruise ships. A trip to the North Cape was a feat that was celebrated with a glass of North Cape champagne—a tradition that lives on to this day.
The iconic North Cape plateau has attracted several royals for various reasons. The man who became the last king of France, Louis Philippe d’Orléans, hid on the North Cape from assassins in the aftermath of the French Revolution.
The Globe was built in 1978 and is a symbol of the North Cape being a global meeting place. People from all over the world meet here to experience the incredible majesty and beauty of the North Cape together. The experience of being at the top of Europe. This monument has become the symbol of the North Cape. It symbolises that you are at the top of Europe—the northernmost point of the continental mainland. This is one of the trip’s major photo ops.
Every year, the Children of the Earth award is presented at the North Cape. The award, NOK 150,000, is given to a person or project that, over the course of time, has displayed care and the ability to help children in need somewhere in the world. In addition to experiencing the incredible nature at the North Cape, you can view seven large bronze reliefs outside the North Cape Hall. These works of art form the starting point for the international humanitarian project, Children of the Earth. The monument was created by seven children from all parts of the world and symbolises cooperation, friendship, hope and joy across all borders. Norwegian writer Simon Flem Devold came up with the idea in 1987 that the North Cape, the towering cliff far to the north and at the intersection of east and west, could become the starting point for a project with a positive impact far beyond Norway’s borders.
The North Cape Hall was built in 1959 and is primarily made of stone. Work to expand the complex started in 1988. In keeping with the environment and the visual experience of the North Cape, large sections of the building were embedded into the cliff itself. Today, the North Cape Hall can welcome several thousand guests at the same time.
The North Cape Hall offers a rich variety of sights. There are several restaurants here with fantastic views of the cliff and the sea, as well as cafés and bars. The Hall also houses an exclusive gift shop, historic exhibits, a post office, the Thai museum and St Johannes Chapel with its unique architecture.
After a tour of the plateau, the restaurant is an excellent spot to sit down and let everything sink in. With its panoramic windows, the restaurant offers a lovely view of the plateau, the Globe, the Arctic Ocean and the many visitors from far and near. Restaurant Aurora offers both à la carte and group meals featuring Arctic-inspired food such as fillet of reindeer, delightful fish soup and much more. With seating for 250, the restaurant has the capacity to host major events and banquets.
Sausages, sandwiches, cakes and incredibly delicious waffles made with an in-house recipe can be enjoyed in the “Coffeehouse”. Panorama is open on busy days and offers barista-made coffee, tapas, chips, nuts and pastries.
Dining and gift shop opening hours
The gift shop is open year-round during North Cape Hall’s opening hours.
Restaurant Aurora 25 May–31 August, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 a.m. (kitchen is open 12:00 p.m.–10 p.m.). Shorter opening hours until 1 June.
The Coffeehouse is open year-round during North Cape Hall’s opening hours.
Panorama is open during the summer months but opening hours may vary depending on the number of visitors to the North Cape Hall.
The gift shop in the North Cape Hall is well worth a visit. You’ll find hundreds of high-quality gifts and souvenirs here ranging from delightful knitted products to porcelain, jewellery, and other knick-knacks that would normally be found in a souvenir shop. Gifts and souvenirs to suit every wallet.
Set into the cliff, a unique panoramic film awaits to take you on a journey through our four seasons, with a spectacular landscape full of contrasts, light and breathtaking scenery. The film, which is produced by Nordisk Film, is shown on a 125-degree screen and is 14 minutes long. It is directed by Hallgrim Haug and the score has been written by Atle Halstensen, Svein Schultz and Herman Rundberg. The film premiered at North Cape on 19 May 2009 and can be seen in the North Cape Hall daily year-round.
From the blue Arctic winter where the northern lights fill the sky to the warm golden summer with a midnight sun and endless sea. Light and contrasts, all tied to humankind. For generations, people lived in harmony with nature. It’s these stories that make the film experience unforgettable
Just a few kilometres due west of North Cape lies Gjesvær and Gjesværstappen, which is one of Norway’s largest bird colonies featuring an impressive diversity of species. Here, roughly a million puffins are joined by gannets, cormorants, terns, auks and fulmars. But, if you cannot make the trip out to Gjesvær, you can get an excellent introduction to the area’s birdlife in the North Cape Hall, where there is a separate, lifelike exhibit.
St Johannes Chapel is the world’s northernmost ecumenical* chapel. The chapel is from 1990 and is built into the mountain in connection with the North Cape Hall. The chapel seats 15 people and is mainly used by the local island residents for weddings and baptisms, or by travellers who are fascinated by its unique character. Of course, there is nothing to prevent you from taking some time to sit down and study all the details of the fascinating architecture and let your thoughts sink in.
The music was composed exclusively for the chapel by famous Norwegian jazz musician Jan Garbarek, who has harmoniously mixed saxophone and traditional religious soundscapes.
*Denotation of measures that will promote increased understanding and cooperation between different denominations with the aim of making ecclesiastical unity visible.
As mentioned, the North Cape plateau has attracted several royals, and perhaps the King of Siam (today’s Thailand), Rama V, left the biggest mark. As part of an extensive European tour, King Chulalongkorn of Thailand (Rama V) and his entourage visited Norway. After being welcomed by King Haakon in Kristiania with various tours, the trip continued north along the coast to the North Cape. He allowed himself to be carried up from Hornvika (previously the only accessible “road” to the plateau) on a litter in 1907 and his initials and the year are carved into a large stone at the site.
To this day, you can visit a small Thai museum in the North Cape Hall as a memory of his visit to Norway and the North Cape. The places he visited are reproduced in photographs.
You may be wondering about this pink colour. Pink is a traditional symbolic colour for Tuesday and it is said to bring good luck. Tuesday was the day on which King Chulalongkorn was born, and the pink colour should therefore remind us of the king’s adventurous journey through Norway
He was the first king from Southeast Asia to travel to Europe. From his two major European tours, he brought back ideas that could modernise his country and at the same time improve diplomatic relations. He also paid visits to Italy, France, Spain, Germany, England and Denmark on his tour.
At the post office in the North Cape Hall, you can buy the usual things a small post office offers, but the most exciting thing here is postcards from the plateau that you can post from here with your own North Cape stamp—that’s a souvenir in itself. At the post office, you can also be issued a certificate/diploma with your name on it, which states that you are/have been one of the many visitors to the North Cape.
1 January–17 May: 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
18 May–31 August: 11:00 a.m.–1:00 a.m.
1 September–17 September: 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
18 September–30 September: 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
1 October–31 December: 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Are you going to North Cape? Book your admission tickets to the North Cape Hall here.
In other words, there’s a lot to experience at the North Cape, but it is still the North Cape itself that steals the show. After all, the 307-metre-high promontory has been impressing visitors for over 450 years—ever since the English seaman Richard Chancellor gave the landmark its name, North Cape.
*Europe’s northernmost point, Knivskjellodden, is situated about 4.5 km northwest of the North Cape plateau.