Trade leads to contact between people. This is the case in the North - as it is other places in the world. It was the need to find a trading route that was the cause of the expeditions which sent Willem Barentsz, and the Dutch, on their voyages to find the Northeast Passage. And hunting at Svalbard, particularly during the 17th-century, created lively trade. Bergen merchants purchased the rich catches of northern Norwegian fish and, this in turn, led to further contact between those living in the North and Hanseatic culture. Impoverished fishermen were often poorly paid by wealthy merchants, however, and District Governor Lilienskiold, of Vadsø, was one who readily criticized Bergen merchants for their actions. Rich trading connnections developed too between Norway and Russia during the 18th-century and lasted until the Russian Revolution. This was known as the so-called Pomor trade.

   © University Library of Tromsø - 1999.
The Northern Lights Route is part of The Council of Europe Cultural Routes. The Cultural Routes are an invitation to Europeans to wander the paths and explore the places where the unity and diversity of our European identity were forged.