For more than 250 years Altagård has been central in many important events in Alta as it served as residence of the county governor
hospital
catholic mission
school and military headquarters.

Ten different county governors resided here between 1738 and 1814, and then it was unused until 1835 when it was converted into a hospital with its own doctor. However, this lasted only nine years as there were too few patients. The farm was then out of use for three years until the merchant Klerck purchased it and ran it for nine years.

In 1856 Altagård was taken over by the catholic North Pole Mission which was established by the Vatican to do missionary work in the world's northernmost regions from Alaska to Siberia. The large log building housed the priests, a school and a church dedicated to Saint Joseph. From 1869 to 1880 the building was a boarding school and in 1897 the Ministry of Defense purchased Altagård. That year compulsory military service was introduced and two companies were set up in Finnmark. The one covering the western part of the county established its headquarters and training centre at Altagård. Later on the unit became a battalion and remained here until it was disbanded in 1995. The property was then sold to Alta District Council and the building is now used as offices.

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Altagård med katolsk kirkegård