The Transformation fishing village

Nyksund is a mosaic that is constantly changing. Nyksund has been evacuated three times, and also risen three times thanks to the diligent efforts of enterprising people with the courage to defy a barren nature, steep mountains, erratic seas and politics.

Fishing village, ghost town and exotic meeting place

As far back as the Stone Age and the Metal Age, people have found the area around Nyksund ideal for settlement. At Skåltofta by Nyksund, there are discovery from probably one of the region's largest houses from the Early Iron Age (34 m long). There were no opportunities for cultivating land that made people settle. The reason was probably the rich deposits of fish.

The proximity to cod fishing made Nyksund sought after as a place to stay during the winter season. Mostly it was Opplandet on Langøya that was initially used for this purpose. In 1879 the man Jacob A Schiorter built several buildings on Nyksund island, and in 1802 his successor Mads Rhode experienced that all of the buildings, fish hatches and boats were swept out to sea during a winter storm. The downturn for the Nyksund area was inevitable. In connection with the large herring fishery in 1875, Nyksund flourished again. A jetty was built between Nyksund island and Ungsmal-island in 1878. The harbor then became somewhat safer, and fishermen flocked in large numbers during the season. In 1894, 750 fishermen from all over Vesterålen were registered at Nyksund. The heyday lasted, despite a major fire in 1934, until the end of the 1940s. The place then had 9 fish farms, 4 shops, two bakeries, a smithy, the prayer house Zoar, a school, a post office and several service functions.

In the 1950s, a new period of decline began for Nyksund. Despite the fact that the place with a new pier and road connection to Myre had developed into a modern post-war village, more and more of the business moved to Myre where "Øksnes-Langenes Fishing Industry" was established. Larger boats required even larger ports. Attempts to establish a "mink town" in Oppland were not a long-term success. Finally, the State declared Nyksund, like several other places along the coast, as an evacuation area. In 1975, the last man - the blacksmith - moved from Nyksund, and the place remained for looting and robbery, and as a location for both feature films and documentaries - for several years.

The discussion about preserving the fishing village Nyksund was heated for several years. A separate "Nyksund study" was available in 1979 - a good working document for a further process, but little happened. In the mid-1980s, Nyksund gained new relevance: the Technische Universität in Berlin wanted to use the "Ghost Town" as an arena for social pedagogical practice and environmental projects. Several hundred young people from Europe and Scandinavia came to the then evacuated fishing village, and the program was led by a foundation (DINS), which eventually became well known and was awarded generous international prizes. Following this, Nyksund has developed into an exciting and exotic meeting place. Today there are good restaurants, accommodation, shops, art gallery, art studios, concert halls, festivals, various nature-based offers for tourists and more. Today, several permanent residents live in Nyksund, and despite a bad road, the place is probably Vesterålen's biggest tourist magnet.