The customs house wharf is the only one of the old wharves in Tromsø still in its original position on wooden posts on the foreshore, so that the sea can flow freely underneath. The natural foreshore of this old customs site is the last of its kind in the whole of the centre of town – the water’s edge has otherwise been filled in by quays and construction. The customs house wharf dating from 1833 was expanded in 1843 – the whole thing was built and used as a warehouse (storehouse) for the customs site. Since 1978, it has provided space for Polarmuseet, with a rich collection of objects relating to commercial activity and research in the Arctic.

The red-painted customs house wharf is built over two storeys plus a loft. It is primarily built of cog-jointed logs with cross-notched corners and the logs are clad externally with vertical wooden panelling. It looks as though there was originally an open lengthwise gallery on the ground floor, which was later covered over. The two dormer windows with a lifting wheel are typical (in Tromsø these are called kobbhus), one of these on the end wall facing the sea and the other on the long side. Under the lift wheels are double doors on each floor
here the wares were winched off the boats and taken directly up to the floor where they were to be stored.

The boat-house, situated behind the wharf, was built in around 1800. After Polarmuseet took over the buildings, the boat-house was converted and furnished for exhibition purposes.

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