Ivan the Terrible

Today's blog is inspired by world politics. It may seem that Snowhotel Kirkenes is at the world`s edge and in a political void. That couldn`t be further from the truth!

We have had a visit from Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, wife of Prime Minister Medvedyev, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and many other ministers, ambassadors etc.

What is it about Kirkenes's location?

Of course, it's our neighbor that makes us so interesting. Our border with Russia is 196 km long. We are the Nato and Schengen border.

It was Ivan the Terrible – the Russian Tzar in the 1500s that first showed us his interest. He did not have soldiers enough to take the area, but used a different tactic;

He encouraged the church to build a monastery and place monks in the area. The church was interested in preaching the Lord's message to the Sámi indigenous people in the area.

Ivan the Terrible equipped monks with trade letters and only they could trade legally with the Sami. The first chapel was erected in 1575 at the Pasvik River, only a few km from the current Kirkenes</