Grytviken is the main settlement in the British territory of South Georgia in South Atlantic. It got its name by Swedish explorers who found old English try pots in 1902 (Grytviken: Swedish for “The Pot Cove”). Try pots were used for producing seal oil.
The place is well protected and it has significant land area which is very suitable for building and it also has a good fresh water supply.
Grytviken settlement was founded by Norwegian Sea captain Carl Anton Larsen in 1904, as the whaling station for the Argentine Fishing Company. Larsen picked up this place two years earlier and the first season had great success. About 300 men worked at the station where all parts of the animals were used: the blubber, meat, bones. As the manager of the Argentine Fishing Company, Larsen arranged building of Grytviken. The seal population was notably reduced 60 years after the station was opened. In 1966, the station was closed because products made of whale became so cheap that further exploitation was impossible.
Today, Grytviken, along the area which surrounds station, is declared an Area of Special Tourist Interest. It is also very popular stop for cruise ships which are visiting Antarctica. There is also South Georgia Museum, which is placed in the manager’s house. It is opened during the summer season for tourists.
The only building in Grytviken which has the original purpose is the station’s church. From time to time it is used for services. There were several marriages in this church and the first one is registered in 1932, while the most recent one was in 2006.