GAMMELFILÉTEN – A PIECE OF HENNINGSVÆR´S HISTORY

Probably the first air photo of Henningsvær. Shot in 1928.

Probably the first air photo of Henningsvær. Shot in 1928.

The wharf was built in 1923 by Alf R Johansen and was used as a woodwork factory. In 1948, the area on the first floor was remodelled for fish-processing, and the second floor was fitted out to provide accommodation for the fishermen. The fish-processing plant was one of the first in Northern Norway to have an ammonia freezer, something which in those days was a huge advance. The machines and the freezer rooms remain intact.

Millions of kilograms of fish were processed here – cod, haddock, saithe, and all the other varieties of fish the sea off Henningsvær has to offer. Production often went over three shifts, and the only day the freezer was turned off was on Christmas Eve. Then, the house should be quiet.They continued to receive fish down on the dock right up until the mid-1990s, and there were

Gammelfileten Brygge to the right in the picture.

Gammelfileten Brygge to the right in the picture.


many boats in the course of the year that brought their catch here. Ranveig and Venus were two of the boats that landed fish here, but their crews also stayed in the accommodation above the wharf.

These were longline boats that also owned rooms in the building next to “Gammelfiléten”. We have therefore named the apartments after them, in addition to which we have the apartment “Kontoret” – “The Office” – which was the office for the company Alf R Johansen AS up until 2003.The company wasl involved in the production and export of salted fish, dried fish, and fresh fish untill 2009. The receiving and processing of fish took place at the Finnholmen location, where you also find Finnholmen Brygge.

Gutting of fish in front of Gammelfileten Brygge.

Gutting of fish in front of Gammelfileten Brygge.


Henningsvær has managed to withstand developments along the coast, which for many places have meant mass desertion and an increasingly aged population. It is a place of growth, with a young population and an excitingly varied business life.

Over the last few years the fishing industry, which has always been the place’s mainstay, has seen tourism become steadily more important, and the two industries now face the future side by side.