House on the rock

Have you heard about the house on the rock? In this story you will learn more about the historical building that now houses Narvik Museum.

Before it became a museum, the venerable brick building was used for something completely different. The “house on the rock” was NSB’s administration building and was completed in 1902, designed by Paul Due and with Gunerus Soot as builder.

The administration building under construction in 1901. Roof constructions are in place. Herring boats in the harbor. Photo: Gunerus Soot
The administration building housed offices on the ground floor and the district manager’s residence on the second floor.
A significant garden had been built around the building.
The administration building in 1939.

In 1941, the Germans took over the second floor and the basement. In 1943 they took over the rest of the building, while the railway administration had to move to a barracks on the town square. When the war was over, the whole building was used for offices.

At the end of the 1950s, the upper parts of the landscaped gardens were used for residential plots around the newly built Hagebakken.

The administration building and the Hagebakken residential area in the background. Photo: Widerøe Aerial photo, 1961
The garden and the market garden for the administration building. Photo: Widerøe Aerial photo, 1961

From 1995 the administration building was leased to the Ofoten Museum (Narvik Museum), after the railway administration was built down in Narvik. In 2002, the museum was allowed to take over the building free of charge. The garden area had to be demolished when the tunnel on the E6 to Fagernes was built. 

Murbygg, Narvik havn
Narvik Museum in NSB’s former administration building, and view over Narvik harbour 29 June 2020. Photo: Harald Harnang

A trip to Administrasjonsveien 3 is recommended regardless of whether the museum is open or not. Here you can dream your way back to ancient glory and reflect on the enormous development Narvik city has had! 

All photographs are from Narvik municipal photo collection managed by Narvik Museum.