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Villa Fredheim (Tempelfjord)

Pan­ora­mas “Vil­la Fred­heim” as a vir­tu­al tour/panoramic tour


Once you have ente­red the vir­tu­al tour, you can eit­her use the map in the lower left cor­ner to navi­ga­te, or the bar at the bot­tom, or click on sym­bols within the panos to enter the next one (only while the next loca­ti­on is visi­ble, not always available). Or you can just let it play and it will auto­ma­ti­cal­ly switch to the next pano after one tur­n­around. You can switch the sound off (upper right cor­ner) if you wish, same with the expl­ana­to­ry text.

You can also view this vir­tu­al tour on iPads and other tablets if they are powerful enough and have an up-to-date sys­tems soft­ware. On desk­top sys­tems, you can use both HTML5 or Flash.


  1. Dani­els­bu / Gam­melhyt­ta (out­side)
  2. Dani­els­bu / Gam­melhyt­ta (1)
  3. Dani­els­bu / Gam­melhyt­ta (2)
  4. Fred­heim: Nødhyt­ta
  5. Fred­heim: Nødhyt­ta (1)
  6. Fred­heim: Nødhyt­ta (2)
  7. Vil­la Fred­heim
  8. Vil­la Fred­heim: Ent­rance
  9. Vil­la Fred­heim: Kit­chen
  10. Vil­la Fred­heim: Living Room (1)
  11. Vil­la Fred­heim: Living Room (2)
  12. Vil­la Fred­heim: Stairs
  13. Fred­heim: Ups­tairs (1)
  14. Fred­heim: Ups­tairs (2)
  15. Fred­heim: Ups­tairs (3)

Some addi­tio­nal infor­ma­ti­on about the indi­vi­du­al places:


„Vil­la“ Fred­heim is a trap­per hut that belon­ged to the famous Nor­we­gi­an trap­per Hil­mar Nøis. Hil­mar built Fred­heim in 1924 and lived the­re for most of the time until 1963. During the­se years, he tur­ned Fred­heim from a pri­mi­ti­ve hut into a com­for­ta­ble, cosy home. And inde­ed, Vil­la Fred­heim is spa­cious, if not luxu­rious, com­pared to most other trap­per huts in Spits­ber­gen. It has even got two flo­ors! Most other trap­pers huts in Spits­ber­gen are cer­tain­ly much smal­ler and less famous than the legen­da­ry Vil­la Fred­heim.

Next to the main hut Vil­la Fred­heim, the­re are two other, smal­ler huts. „Dani­els­bu“ (Daniel’s hut) is the oldest one, also cal­led „Gam­melhyt­ta“ (old hut). Clo­ser to the main hut, the­re is also „Nødhyt­ta“ (emer­gen­cy hut), ser­ving as sto­rage place and having a heata­ble room in case of emer­gen­cy. In addi­ti­on, the­re is even a small toi­let house, in safe distance from the other buil­dings.

The site had been used by Pomors (Rus­si­an hun­ters) befo­re the Nor­we­gi­an trap­pers star­ted coming to Spits­ber­gen, main­ly from the 1890s. The­re were foun­da­ti­ons of a Pomor hut visi­ble on the shore short­ly west of Fred­heim, but the site was des­troy­ed by coas­tal ero­si­on, which is also threa­tening Fred­heim. In 2015, the 3 huts were moved up to a hig­her, safer ter­race, as they were threa­ten­ed by coas­tal ero­si­on in their ori­gi­nal posi­ti­on.

Fred­heim: Dani­els­bu or Gam­melhyt­ta (out­side)


Gam­melhyt­ta is the oldest buil­ding at Fred­heim. It was built in 1902 by Lars Gun­n­ar­sen Nis­ja, who win­tered the­re sub­se­quent­ly. In 1911, it was over­ta­ken by Dani­el Nøis, who was Hilmar’s uncle. Dani­el Nøis made impro­ve­ments on the hut and it is accor­din­gly often cal­led Dani­els­bu. At times, most male mem­bers of the Nøis fami­ly from Ves­terå­len was invol­ved in hun­ting and fishing in the Barents Sea. Dani­el Nøis built this hut for a win­tering in 1911/12. It is one of the best pre­ser­ved examp­les in Spits­ber­gen for a trap­pers hut built in a tra­di­tio­nal style, with outer walls insu­la­ted with peat and moss and a roof cover­ed with the bark of birch trees.

Fred­heim: Dani­els­bu or Gam­melhyt­ta (first Room)


Ins­tead of a woo­den flo­or, the­re is a lay­er of gra­vel cove­ring the ground in the first of the hut’s two rooms.

Hil­mar Nøis used to live with his first wife Ellen Dorthe (born Johan­sen) in Dani­els­bu for some time. In autumn 1913, the cou­ple got mar­ried in Nor­way, and a year later their daug­her Embjørg was born. Short­ly befo­re birth, Hil­mar, howe­ver, went to Spits­ber­gen for a win­tering. For seve­ral years, the cou­ple lived sepa­ra­te lives over most of the time, Ellen Dorthe in Nor­way and Hil­mar in Spits­ber­gen, and they saw each other only during a short time in sum­mer, until she joi­n­ed him for her first win­tering in Spits­ber­gen in 1921.

Fred­heim: Dani­els­bu or Gam­melhyt­ta (second room)


Some say that Ellen gave birth to their second child on 11 June, 1922, a boy cal­led Johan­nes Nor­mann Kaps Nøis, in Dani­els­bu. But accor­ding to John-Eldar Peder­sen who has done a lot of rese­arch on the Nøis fami­ly, the cou­ple had moved to Bohe­man­nes­et ear­lier that spring so Kaps was born the­re. Any­way, Hil­mar had gone to Lon­gye­ar­by­en to get the doc­tor, but they were too late: mean­while, Ellen had given birth all on her own, wit­hout any help or sup­port, in a pri­mi­ti­ve hut, alo­ne in the arc­tic. This extre­me expe­ri­ence was more than Ellen could hand­le, but she nevert­hel­ess retur­ned for ano­ther win­ter tog­e­ther with Hil­mar in Fred­heim, but she left on the first pos­si­ble occa­si­on. The win­ter, espe­ci­al­ly the many days she had been alo­ne in the hut, had been too much; it is said that Ellen never got enti­re­ly rid of the men­tal stress she had suf­fe­r­ed during tho­se two arc­tic win­ters. She got divorced from Hil­mar soon after return. Her son Johan­nes Kap howe­ver win­tered seve­ral times tog­e­ther with his father and work­ed in the coal mines in Spits­ber­gen.

Fred­heim: Nødhyt­ta


Nødhyt­ta was built by Hil­mar Nøis as sto­rage and spa­re buil­ding in case of emer­gen­ci­es and has appear­ent­ly never been used for any pur­po­se bey­ond this. It is the only one of the three buil­dings at Fred­heim which is not locked now.

Fred­heim: Nødhyt­ta, (front room)


As the name sug­gests, „Nødhyt­ta“ is an emer­ge­ny hut, whe­re Hil­mar would have found shel­ter in case of a fire of his main hut. This, howe­ver, never hap­pen­ed. The first room is unhea­ted and ser­ved main­ly as work­shop and sto­rage.

Fred­heim: Nødhyt­ta, (second room)


The second room of Fredheim’s Nødhyt­ta is small and it has got a nice wood-bur­ning sto­ve, so it is easy to heat it up quick­ly.

Vil­la Fred­heim


Vil­la Fred­heim is the lar­gest and most famous of the 3 buil­dings at Fred­heim. It is one of the most beau­tiful and well-known trap­per huts in Spits­ber­gen. Among­st others, it had an out­side veran­da on the side facing Tem­pel­fjord. And the­re was even a litt­le gar­den! Pro­ba­b­ly not with crane’s bill and tuli­ps, but with local flowers such as saxif­ra­ga and Sval­bard pop­py.

Vil­la Fred­heim: Ent­rance

Fredheim Entrance

Every reasonable trap­per hut had a small ent­rance room to keep wind and snow from blo­wing into the hut when the outer door was ope­ned.

Vil­la Fred­heim: Kit­chen

Fredheim Kitchen

This is obvious­ly whe­re Hil­mar Nøis and his wife Hel­frid pre­pared their food. Guests were usual­ly wel­co­med with fresh waf­f­les or cake and glo­wing-hot cof­fee and they were always ser­ved the best Vil­la Fred­heim had to offer. Tthat was cer­tain­ly abo­ve local stan­dards! In Hilmar’s days, a wood-bur­ning sto­ve was used for coo­king; today, the­re is a gas coo­ker, as is usu­al in huts in Spits­ber­gen which are still being used.

Vil­la Fred­heim: Living Room (1)


The first part of the living room, near the door to the kit­chen. This used to be a sepa­ra­te, unhea­ted room in the ear­ly days of Vil­la Fred­heim. It was most­ly the influence of Hilmar’s second wife Hel­frid, start­ing in 1937, that made sure the place was gra­du­al­ly beco­ming more and more cosy, remo­ving the sepa­ra­ting wall to make this once sepa­ra­te room part of a big­ger living room. Soon the­re would be a new sto­ve and even gard­ins and car­pets.

Vil­la Fred­heim: Living Room (2)


Hil­mar and Hel­frid met each others on a Hur­tig­ru­ten ship (Nor­we­gi­an coas­tal steam­ers) and were mar­ried on 22 August 1937 in Fred­heim by the Sys­sel­man­nen. Sto­ry has it that Hel­frid was infor­med about this arran­ge­ment one day in advan­ce. Hil­mar obvious­ly had known about this a bit ear­lier, as he had even arran­ged wed­ding rings.

The inner part of the room is the ori­gi­nal smal­ler living room. Hil­mar and Hel­frid lived most of their time here until they moved to Nor­way for good in the 1960s. Then, Hil­mar could look back to an ama­zing 38 win­terings in Spits­ber­gen! He died 1975 at the age of 84. Hel­frid even got 96 years old, she died 1996 in Bodø.

Vil­la Fred­heim: Stairs


„Vil­la Fred­heim” deser­ves the title vil­la among­st others becau­se the house has got two flo­ors, some­thing that was very uncom­mon for a trapper’s hut. The lower end of the stairs was and still is being used for sto­rage.

Fred­heim: Top flo­or (1)


The first part of the top flo­or. Apart from a small lum­ber-room, it is all one room, a bit sepa­ra­ted in two parts by the chim­ney. In the old years, tools and pro­vi­si­ons were stored here. Today, the­re are matras­ses for guests.

Fred­heim: Top flo­or (2)


The midd­le part of the top flo­or. It is quite obvious what Fred­heim is being used for today: it is no lon­ger the lonely home of a hun­ter and his wife. Today, Fred­heim is most­ly emp­ty, only used occa­sio­nal­ly during weekends by a few pri­vi­le­ged peo­p­le and their fri­ends.

Fred­heim: Top flo­or (3)


The far part of the top flo­or. Against old tra­di­ti­on in the arc­tic, the­re is now a lock on the door and the offi­ci­al seal of the Sys­sel­man­nen på Sval­bard, the Nor­we­gi­an gover­nor. Many huts in Spits­ber­gen have been clo­sed by the local aut­ho­ri­ties out of fear for dama­ge. But how many have deca­yed and fal­len apart becau­se they were not used any­mo­re and accor­din­gly never hea­ted and repai­red? A lot, and it’s get­ting more every year. The aut­ho­ri­ties have only limi­t­ed resour­ces and can­not take care of all of the­se old, beau­tiful huts. The­re are indi­vi­du­als and clubs who have got resour­ces, moti­va­ti­on and com­pe­tence to take care of the­se huts, but usual­ly the­re is no oppor­tu­ni­ty. In the case of Fred­heim, the most pro­mi­nent, it is given at Christ­mas and Eas­tern to locals from Lon­gye­ar­by­en who can app­ly for it, and during two weekends in late March and April, the­re is an open day whe­re ever­y­bo­dy can visit to have a look insi­de. The fact that the governor’s staff are able to use Fred­heim for pri­va­te pur­po­ses is con­tro­ver­si­al, to put it mild­ly, and it is doubtful if Hil­mar Nøis would have agreed to this arran­ge­ment. He left it „to the peo­p­le of Spits­ber­gen“ and not „to the Sys­sel­man­nen“.

Nevert­hel­ess I want to thank tho­se fri­end­ly Sys­sel­man­nen staff who gave me the oppor­tu­ni­ty on 29 March 2014 to spend some time at the end of an open day, once ever­y­bo­dy else had left, and shoot the­se pan­ora­mas! Now it is pos­si­ble to visit Fred­heim on the inter­net.

In Tem­pel­fjord, on the shore near Sas­send­a­len, is Fred­heim, home of the famous Nor­we­gi­an trap­per Hil­mar Nøis, who lived the­re for seve­ral deca­des, in later years tog­e­ther with his second wife Hel­frid. 1/2

In Tem­pel­fjord, on the shore near Sas­send­a­len, is Fred­heim, home of the famous Nor­we­gi­an trap­per Hil­mar Nøis, who lived the­re for seve­ral deca­des, in later years tog­e­ther with his second wife Hel­frid. 2/2



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last modification: 2019-10-10 · copyright: Rolf Stange