Drakkar Leviathan sculpture in Ultima Thule

Submitted by Jürgen Tenckhoff on Mon, 12/05/2022 - 16:54

If you reach the end of the European route E 75 in Vardø on the polar sea coast, you have arrived at the easternmost point of Norway. The city is located on the small island of Vardøya in the Barents Sea and is connected to the mainland by a tunnel. If you start your trip in Vadsø, the E75 first leads you through small fishing villages such as Kallijoki and Kiberg, which attract attention from afar with their beautiful colorful houses.

Hunting white-tailed eagles are constant companions on the journey, which finally ends at the entrance to the tunnel to the island of Vardøya. Already here there are amazing things to see - a truck standing vertically and anchored in the ground impressively marks the end of the mainland. The artist Pøbel has placed a discarded removal bus upright here. Shortly thereafter, ravens built their nests there and found an unusual home. A sign with the inscription "Vardø - Ultima Thule" gives an idea of ​​where the journey through the tunnel will go - to the northernmost island of the continent. The term Thule as a designation for the northernmost country in the world has existed since ancient times, the Greek Pytheas wanted to have already discovered the north country and so we are now driving to the easternmost island in Norway and at the same time northernmost in Europe. We better not check that, so as not to deprive ourselves of the beautiful illusion of mysticism around Ultima Thule, and in fact our scrambling through the wild landscape in the north of the island of Vardøyal underlines the idea of ​​the end of the world.

This location has always given Vardø military importance and today (2022) four modern radar stations are in operation here. During the Cold War, the island was therefore an important part of NATO's early warning system. Since 1998 there has been a radar station at Vardø called Globus II for tracking space debris. (Their X-band radar is also used by the US National Missile Defense).

Vardø's Ultima Thule habitus continues to inspire artists to create outstanding installations. The artists Vhils and Pøbel have created street art works of art as high as the house on opposite walls.

The Drakkar-Leviathan sculpture was erected in the summer of 2016 by the Taibola Assemble team from Arkhangelsk/Severodvinsk. This memorial installation is also a hymn to the Arctic, nature and people. Once you have admired this extraordinary sculpture, continue to the northernmost point of the island, where a beacon and a rock tower have been erected.

The way through the rocks is not easy and we enjoy climbing at the end of the world.

Type | Technique | Theme
Continent or ocean


Picture 1: The village Kallijoki


Picture 2: The village Kiberg


Picture 3: First impressions of Vardø


Picture 4: A walk through Vardø


Picture 5: The impressive Drakkar-Leviathan sculpture in Ultima Thule, Vardø


Picture 6: The landscape in the north of the island of Vardøya


Picture 7: Climbing to the northern lighthouse in the north of Vardøya island