Vardø is the easternmost town in Norway, located at the tip of a curved peninsula that extends further east than St. Petersburg, Russia or even Istanbul in Turkey. It is an old community, with roots dating from the Stone Age and Iron Age Sami culture. It grew in importance as a Norwegian royal outpost during the medieval period. In the 17th century, the town became a center of notorious witchcraft trials and executions. In recent decades, the fishing industry that fueled its growth has collapsed, and the population is shrinking. The towering steeple of its single church is the town’s landmark.