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Biskayarhuken: Panorama images, photos and background

Portrait of a peninsula on Spitsbergen's north coast

Biskayarhuken, Map

The litt­le pen­in­su­la Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken is loca­ted on the north coast of Spits­ber­gen,
east of Raud­fjord.

Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken is a point on the north coast of Spits­ber­gen, east of Raud­fjord. The nar­row pen­in­su­la is quite expo­sed and thus only acces­si­ble during calm wea­ther and sea con­di­ti­ons.

It is, howe­ver, quite obvious that the sea isn’t always calm, espe­ci­al­ly when you con­sider that the bot­t­len­eck-like pie­ce of land bet­ween the pen­in­su­la and the main­land was wide enough to cross it com­for­ta­b­ly in the not too distant past in the 20th cen­tu­ry. It won’t be long until ongo­ing coas­tal ero­si­on will have made an island out of the cur­rent pen­in­su­la of Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken.


Con­nec­tion bet­ween Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken and the main­land, sub­ject to mari­ne ero­si­on (2022).

As the name sug­gests, Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken has got quite a bit of histo­ry. The ear­liest 17th cen­tu­ry wha­lers had expe­ri­en­ced Bas­ques with them who ser­ved as wha­ling mas­ters and tea­chers until tho­se who came from the nati­ons who sent the wha­ling ships up to Spits­ber­gen – main­ly the Net­her­lands and Eng­land – had lear­nt the trade. The­re is a litt­le gra­vey­ard and an indi­vi­du­al gra­ve, the lat­ter one pro­ba­b­ly with a hig­her ran­king indi­vi­du­al, like a cap­tain or a har­poo­ner.

Biskayarhuken: Whaler's grave

Whaler’s gra­ve at Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken.

Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken Pan­ora­ma 1: Whaler’s gra­vey­ard and hut remains

Near to the whaler’s gra­vey­ard, the­re are the remains of huts. The­re was a trap­per hut, which was pro­ba­b­ly built in 1927 by Sven Ols­son (“Stock­holm Sven”, who also built, among­st others, the huts at Vel­komst­pyn­ten in Wood­fjord and Bruce­n­eset in Raud­fjord). In any case, the hut burnt down in 1959, an inci­dent pro­ba­b­ly cau­sed acci­den­tal­ly by Bri­tish geo­lo­gists. They built a new hut in 1961, but the­re is not much left but the foun­da­ti­ons after this one eit­her.

Biskayarhuken: cairn

Cairn and view to the south.

Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken Pan­ora­ma 2: hill (south side)

Clo­se to the wha­lers’ gra­vey­ard, on its nor­the­ast side, the­re is a litt­le hill. It is not hig­her than 41 met­res abo­ve sea level, but the view is nevert­hel­ess stun­ning! Here we are on the sou­thern end of the top of the hill …

Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken Pan­ora­ma 3: hill (north side)

… and here we are at the nor­t­hern end of the hill top, just a few met­res away from posi­ti­on 3.

Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken Pan­ora­ma 4: nor­t­hern end of the pen­in­su­la

And final­ly, a 360 degree view from the nor­t­hern end of the pen­in­su­la. It is just a good 500 met­res from the wha­lers’ gra­vey­ard – the sou­thern end of this litt­le vir­tu­al tour of Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken – to this posi­ti­on here at the nor­t­hern end. The­re is a fine cairn here, one of seve­ral ones at Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken, in the way they were typi­call built by expe­di­ti­ons at times long past, to mark a loca­ti­on, as a land­mark for map­ping pur­po­ses or just becau­se they had some time to bide. It is hard to tell exact­ly what hap­pen­ed here, when and who was invol­ved.

But one thing is for sure: the view from here, to the Arc­tic Oce­an in the north and Spitsbergen’s north coast in the south, is ama­zing, espe­ci­al­ly on a beau­tiful days like the one when I shot the pan­ora­mas!

Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken – pho­to gal­lery

And final­ly, some impres­si­ons of Bis­ka­yar­hu­ken.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.



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last modification: 2023-06-14 · copyright: Rolf Stange