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Kirkenes, Norway

Kirkenes is located on a fjord indented from the Barents Sea in Finnmark county in far northeastern Norway, 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and near the border with Russia. The town’s name means Church-Headland, and its severely handsome white church is in fact located on a bluff overlooking the fjord. The harbor is the last stop on the famous Hurtigruten coastal steamer route. Because of the curvature of the coastline, Kirkenes is actually east of the Finnish border. Surprisingly, the town is also east of Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The Midnight Sun shines here from mid-May until the third week of July. The Borderlands Museum has a display of artwork by a regional Sami (Lapp) artist and regional history of this Russian/Norwegian area.