After the border was agreed upon in 1826, there were often disputes between Norwegian and Russian fishermen. The district administrator of Finnmark asked several times to have a gunboat placed at the river mouth. A Norwegian marine officer suggested that they should rather build a church as a cultural border defence to the east.
In 1869 the chapel was consecrated. King Oscar visited the chapel in 1873, and asked to have his name linked to it. The Lighthouse Service (Fyr- og merkevesenet) whitewashed the chapel in 1883, but it got its original appearance back for its 100th anniversary in 1969.
A walk around the cemetery shows that people from several cultures met here. There are Russians, Sami, Finnish and Norwegian names on the gravestones. Some of the crosses are Russian orthodox, but most of them are Lutheran.
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