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Lloyds Hotel

360° PanoTour

Lloyds Hotel – vir­tu­al pan­o­r­amic tour

Pano-Tour Lloyds Hotel 1/3

In Möl­lerfjord, the nor­the­as­tern branch of inner Kross­fjord, the­re is a slight­ly pecu­li­ar hut on a small pen­in­su­la cal­led Reg­nard­ne­set. Pain­ted in bright oran­ge colour, it car­ri­es the proud name “Lloyds Hotel” and is deco­ra­ted with 5 stars and a sign that says “Lloy­d­agen­tur Möl­ler­ha­fen” (Lloyd’s agen­cy Möl­lerfjord).

The sto­ry goes back to the Ger­man “Zep­pe­lin expe­di­ti­on” in 1910, when count Fer­di­nand von Zep­pe­lin was in Spits­ber­gen with the steam­er Mainz to look for a place sui­ta­ble as air­ship base. Count von Zep­pe­lin was stron­gly inte­res­ted and invol­ved in the deve­lo­p­ment of air­ships, which are now con­nec­ted to his name. Laug­hed at in ear­lier years, he enjoy­ed con­sidera­ble sup­port by 1910, even Prin­ce Hein­rich of Prus­sia, son of emper­or Wil­helm II., was inte­res­ted enough in the pro­ject to join the count on his 1910 expe­di­ti­on to Spits­ber­gen.

They occu­p­ied lar­ge parts of Spits­ber­gen bet­ween Kongsfjord and Raud­fjord, a prac­ti­ce which was quite com­mon on tho­se years, when Spits­ber­gen was still Ter­ra nul­li­us (no man’s land). Later, it should have been pos­si­ble to find a good place for an air­ship base some­whe­re in this lar­ge area.

Pano-Tour Lloyds Hotel 2/3

In 1912, the ship­ping com­pa­ny North Ger­man Lloyd took over the poss­i­ons from 1910, but did not do much the­re other than buil­ding a hut in 1912 (or 1925, depen­ding on source), which was a com­mon way to keep a cla­im upright. This hut got later known as “Lloyds Hotel” and it quick­ly beca­me a popu­lar crui­se ship desti­na­ti­on. The­se left plaques with their names and dates on the insi­de walls of the hut, thus tur­ning it into a kind of litt­le muse­um for the crui­se ship histo­ry in Spits­ber­gen, which is going back later than you might think: it is a regu­lar acti­vi­ty sin­ce the late 19th cen­tu­ry and not at all a very recent inven­ti­on.

Pano-Tour Lloyds Hotel 3/3

Lloyds Hotel is a cosy litt­le hut, but it has hard­ly enough space for the pas­sen­gers of a crui­se ship. Com­fort is limi­t­ed, and when I shot this pan­ora­ma (2014), the wood bur­ning sto­ve was out of order, a vital pie­ce of equip­ment in any hut if it is to be used. But nevert­hel­ess, Lloyds Hotel deser­ves every one of its 5 stars for the sur­roun­ding sce­n­ery. Möl­lerfjord is sur­roun­ded by one of the fines moun­tain and gla­cier pan­ora­mas in nor­thwes­tern Spits­ber­gen, and a fine day in this spec­ta­cu­lar land­scape is pure arc­tic plea­su­re.

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One Comment to Lloyds Hotel

  1. Bernard Negrin says:

    Having just been the­re, I total­ly agree with the aut­hor.
    The ‘hotel’ is A glo­ri­fied pack­ing cra­te, but the sur­roun­ding Kross­fjor­den sce­n­ery, with its magni­fi­cent moun­ta­ins and gla­ciers, make this a page from the’Book of Won­ders’.
    A tru­ly ethe­re­al expe­ri­ence.
    B.I. Negrin

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last modification: 2019-04-19 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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