Finnmark 1956

Norsk Folkemuseum is re-erecting two Reconstruction Houses from Finnmark in the Open Air Museum. In these buildings we will tell the story of everyday life and cultural history in Finnmark emphasizing the reconstruction after World War II,

Opening May 2019

Progress December 2018

  • Finnmark 1956. Desember 2018.
    Finnmark 1956. Desember 2018. Espen Revold / Norsk Folkemuseum

At the end of World War II (1944-1945) the Germans used scorched earth tactics, and destroyed almost all buildings and all boats in Finnmark and Northern Troms. The population was evacuated. In the years following the liberation in 1945, the region was rebuilt and people returned. 

The extensive reconstruction of the region lasted until the early 1960s. This is an important, but little known part of Norwegian postwar history. The architecture of the region was completely changed during this period – a direct and concrete expression of the drama and the change the people themselves went through.

The Buildings

  • Bolighus fra Olderfjord, Porsanger
    House from Olderfjord in Porsanger. Haakon Michael Harriss / Norsk Folkemuseum
  • Fjøs fra Indre Billefjord, Porsanger
    Cowshed from Indre Billefjord in Porsanger. Haakon Michael Harris / Norsk Folkemuseum

In the house from Olderfjord we aim to tell the story of the Persen family who lived here in 1956. We will also tell about the recontruction of Finnmark after World War II.

In the cowshed we will show an exhibition about the war in Finnmark, and about the evacuation andscorching of this part of Norway at the end of the war. There will also be an exhibition about the fisherman/farmer's work.

  • Familien Persen på 1930-tallet
    The Persen family in front of a «gamme». Their pre-war house was close by. The daughter Else to the left, next to Ole Persen (drinking coffee). Elvira Persen is no. two from the right. Photo from the 1930s. Foto tilhører Arnfinn Arntsen.
  • Familien Arntsen på 1950-tallet
    Else, now married to Herman Arntzen, with her husband and their son Arnfinn, in front of the reconstruction house in Olderfjord where they lived together three generations in the 1950s. Foto tilhører Arnfinn Arntsen.


  • Olderfjord i Porsanger
    Olderfjord in Porsanger Haakon Harris / Norsk Folkemuseum

Finnmark is Norway's largest and northernmost county and constitutes one sixth of mainland Norway, with an area of over 48 000 km². Finnmark borders the Arctic Ocean in the north, towards Troms (Kvænangen) in the west, Finland in the south and Russia in the east. The largest cities are Alta and Hammerfest in the west and Vadsø and Kirkenes in the east