Hornsund is a fjord on the southwest side of Spitsbergen that extends about 30 kilometers in an easterly direction to the bottom of the Hornbreen glacier. The fjord has an inlet between Worcesterpynten in Wedel Jarlsberg Land in the north and Hornsundneset in Sørkapp Land in the south. It has a width of 12-15 kilometers and a maximum depth of about 260 meters.

Hornsund is a two major indentations. Burgerbukta goes in a northern direction and Samarinvågen in a southerly direction. Along the north coast are also Isbjørnhamna and Adriabukta and on the south side Gåshamna. The partially narrowed area of ​​Hornsund which lies east of Treskelen is called Brepollen.

The fjord is an important habitat for polar bears, and the most important feature for polar bears between Storfjorden and Vest-Spitsbergen is here.

The only settlement in the area is a Polish research station from 1957 in Isbjørnhamna at the mouth of Hornsund. At the station there were previously up to 25-30 residents, but as of 2008, 12 permanent Polish researchers lived here. On 1 February 1990, a Norwegian post office was established in Isbjørnhamna with address 9177 Hornsund. The post office was closed on September 20, 2002.

The fjord is located within the boundaries of Sør-Spitsbergen National Park.


In the area around Hornsund there are a number of cultural monuments. In Gåshamna, there have been excavations in a whaling facility from the 17th century. The English whalers had a land station and operated a landing down here from 1624, but no further south than Hornsund. The fjord was named after the English whaler Jonas Poole, who wrote: "They brought a piece of an animal horn on board, and therefore I called this strait Horne Sound". Poole was on Spitsbergen several times in the early 17th century.

Thereafter, the area was first used by Russian Pomors in the early 1800s - mainly on the south coast and only exceptionally on the north coast (a house foundation at Torbjørnsenfjellet). Remains of a main cabin and a number of auxiliary stations from the Pomor period have been found. In 1820, a shipwrecked lodge with 13 dead Russians on board was found, and it is believed that the Russians did not use the area later than this. The exception is the Russian-Swedish degree expedition 1899-1900, where Gåshamna was used as a Russian base with an observatory.

In the early 20th century, Norwegian hunters started operations in Hornsund, first on the Dunøyane and then on land where Søndre Hornsund constituted Hunting Field number 2 on Svalbard. The main station "Konstantinovka" was created around 1915 by the Russian Observatory on the east bank of the bay Gåshamna. There were auxiliary stations on the east coast ("Camp Erna") and in Stormbukta ("Hilmarhytta"). The British Northern Exploration Company also established sharps here in search of valuable minerals, but without success.

Nordre Hornsund was Fangstfelt 3 on Svalbard, and consisted of a number of Norwegian fishing grounds. The down islands were important for down collecting from the beginning in the late 1800s, and here stood a cabin at least in 1914. while Hyttevika within these islands had the hunting lodge "Claus Andersen hut" from 1907. Then followed Isbjørnhamna in 1908, a house (" Fuglefjell ») under Sofiekammen on Gnålodden, and from 1926 a substation in Adriabukta.