One of Norway's (and the world's) northernmost towns, located on the island of Kvaløya in Finnmark fylke at 70° 38´ N.
The town was first granted a civic charter (Norwegian: byrettighet) in 1789. A good site for a port, Hammerfest's harbour was ice-free all year - a fact which made it a center for fishing and trade (not least with Russia).
Today, many regular ferry routes dock at Hammerfest, including Hurtigruten from Bergen. Fishing and the attendant industries make up the economic base of the town, along with some summertime tourism.
Like most other Norwegian towns, Hammerfest was left in ruins by the German occupation forces, upon their retreat in 1944/1945.
Population: 9,166 (resident within the municipality of Hammerfest, as of January 1, 2001)