Tromsø University Museum is the oldest scientific institution in Northern-Norway. It was established in 1872 and incorporated in the University of Tromsø in 1976. The museum has 80,000-90,000 visitors annually.
The museum consists of six departments:
- Cultural History
- Sámi Ethnography
Near the southern end of Tromsøya, this museum has well-presented and documented displays on traditional and modern Sami life, ecclesiastical art and accoutrements, and a small section on the Vikings. Downstairs, learn about rocks of the north and ponder a number of thought-provoking themes (such as the role of fire, the consequences of global warming and loss of wilderness).
There's also a replica 'Northern Lights machine', or terrella, an early invention that gives you in miniature a sense of the splendour of the aurora borealis.
Other highlights include, in the garden, a gammen, or traditional Sami sod house (which offers free coffee in summer) and a set of hourglasses, turned to warn the vicar that his sermon time was running out.