This solemn work of art and architecture (shown under construction in May, 2011) honors the victims of 17th-century witch trials in Vard', above the Arctic Circle in Norway's northeastern reaches. The haunting site is illuminated by the midnight sun and narrated by the calls of seabirds.
Raw beauty and haunting poetry emerge from the idiosyncratic collaboration between Swiss architect Peter Zumthor and the late French-born artist Louise Bourgeois in Vard', Norway. Here in the country's northeasternmost town (population: 2,000) above the arctic circle, you now find an arresting shrine to 91 people in the area who were tried and burned at the stake in the 17th century for the crime of witchcraft. Centuries later, the Steilneset Memorial for the Victims of the Witch Trials in Vard' officially opened June 23, presided by Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway.