hidden europe 22

Alpiniøya (Spitsbergen)

by hidden europe


The name of a tiny island off the coast of Nordaustlandet in Spitzbergen is a tribute to an extraordinary series of expeditions conducted in 1928 by members of the Alpini, the elite mountain brigade of the Italian army. A report from Alpiniøya.

Every name in the European Arctic region tells a story. Amsterdam Island (or more properly, in Norwegian, Amsterdamøya), off the northwest coast of Spitsbergen, really does have impeccable Dutch connections. It is an old whaling station, and in the early seventeenth century a small town called Smeerenburg was established on the island. The buildings were in Dutch style and all the materials were imported from Holland.

There are glaciers, bays and islands named after explorers and their sponsors.

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