Magdalenefjord is one of the most beautiful Svalbard fjords. It is located between Reuschhalvøya and Hoelhalvøyama, in the western part of Spitsbergen. It has the length of 8 km and the width of up to 5 km. The popular bay of Gullybukta closes it from the south.
It belongs to those distant wild places becoming embedded in our memory thanks to its spectacular scenery. Four glaciers come down to the sea here. Their jagged peaks are always covered with snow. You can meet polar bears, walruses and whales in the area.
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Panorama from Magdalenefjorden
A Whaling Station, a Graveyard and Birds
The first explorers of Magdalenefjorden were English. William Barents in 1596 discovered here walrus fangs and called this place the Bay of Fangs. A little later, in 1614 Robert Fotherby called this place the Strait of Maudlen, and the site of the present Gravneset - Trinity Port. A thriving whaling station was established here, which operated until 1623.
Currently, the testimony of those times are the remains of four antique whale blubber ovens and a cemetery from the 17/18th century with 130 graves. In the 19th century, first tourists appeared here, which began the process of the destruction of the historic cemetery and scarce vegetation. The remains were finally secured and fenced off in 2002.
Magdalenefjorden is a great place for ornithologists. Many birds, mainly auks, build their nests here. For this reason, Gravneset is the site of one of four Polish polar stations (the remaining ones can be found in Hornsund, Calypsobyen and Kaffjoyra).
It is also the last place on the way to the north-western islands of the Svalbard archipelago.