Amsterdamøya

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Amsterdamøya is located off Spitsbergen's northwestern coast.
17th century Dutch map of "Amsterdammer Eyland".

Amsterdamøya (English: Amsterdam Island) is a small island off the northwest coast of West-Spitsbergen. It is separated from Danskøya by the strait Danskegattet.

History[edit]

Amsterdamøya was first seen by Willem Barents in 1596. The Dutch first occupied it in 1614 (the year in which it was probably named), building a temporary whaling station on the island's southeastern promontory. In 1619 a semi-permanent station was constructed. It came to be called Smeerenburg (Dutch for "Blubber Town"). The settlement went into decline in the 1640s, and was abandoned sometime before 1660.

References[edit]

  • Conway, W. M. 1906. No Man’s Land: A History of Spitsbergen from Its Discovery in 1596 to the Beginning of the Scientific Exploration of the Country. Cambridge: At the University Press.
  • Norwegian Polar Institute Place Names of Svalbard Database

Coordinates: 79°40′N 10°30′E / 79.667°N 10.500°E / 79.667; 10.500