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Chermsideøya

Svalbard's geoglyph site

Chermsi­deøya is a rather small, bar­ren, rocky island on the north coast of Nord­aus­t­land.

Pan­ora­ma 1 – Chermsi­deøya

Chermsi­deøya is just one of a cou­p­le of simi­lar islands in the area, and this island would hard­ly be worth men­tio­ning if it wasn’t for a cou­p­le of expe­di­ti­ons in the late 19th and 20th cen­tu­ries who made a stop here and crea­ted kind of geo­lo­gi­cal graf­fi­ti by lay­ing a name out with rocks on the sur­face, so-cal­led geo­glyphs.

Pan­ora­ma 2 – Chermsi­deøya

The oldest one is the word Jäde­rin, tog­e­ther with the year “1898” – Edvard Jäde­rin was the lea­der of the Swe­dish sec­tion of the Arc-de-Meri­di­an expe­di­ti­on. The­re is, in cyril­lic let­ter, the word Красин: Kras­sin was the Rus­si­an ice­brea­ker that res­cued Nobile’s men who were drif­ting on the ice near Foynøya in 1928.

And then the­re is yet ano­t­her sym­bol, which comes as a bit of a tough sur­pri­se in this remo­te and gene­ral­ly peace­ful land­s­cape: a swas­ti­ka. It is a bit uncer­tain who actual­ly made it: can­di­da­tes inclu­de a crui­se of the sta­te-ope­ra­ted leisu­re orga­niz­a­ti­on “Kraft durch Freu­de” (Strength through Joy) in Nazi-Ger­ma­ny in the late 1930s, or the sub­ma­ri­ne that brought the crew of the war wea­ther sta­ti­on Hau­de­gen to their desti­na­ti­on in Rijpfjord in 1944. The sub­ma­ri­ne crui­sed inde­ed through the­se waters, but lea­der Wil­helm Dege does not men­ti­on a lan­ding on Chermsi­deøya in his report, which is other­wi­se very detail­ed, espe­cial­ly regar­ding this leg of the voya­ge. On the other hand, a “Kraft durch Freu­de” crui­se to this remo­te area appears rather unli­kely.

Whoever it was: the swas­ti­ka has later repeated­ly been des­troy­ed and recon­struc­ted.

The pan­ora­ma, taken from the rein­de­er per­spec­ti­ve, does not real­ly show the geo­glyphs well, they come out much bet­ter in this pho­to taken from a bird’s per­spec­ti­ve:

Geoglyphs Chermsideøya

The geo­glyphs on Chermsi­deøya from abo­ve.

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last modification: 2020-08-31 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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