In June 2016 I’ve visited Barentsburg – the post-Soviet “city” established in 1912 on Svalbard, the archipelago within the Arctic Circle, currently administred by Norway. Nowadays the town is populated only by apx. (mostly Russian) 450 people (and a couple of pigs reared for slaughter), who make their living on coal-mining and trying to live a normal life in harsh arctic conditions. The settlement consists mainly of uninhabited ruins interspersed with some modern buildings, “guarded” by the eternally-living Lenin and some other Soviet relics. I invite you for a short walk!

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The whole settlement fits in one frame, captured from the sea

Former Port Sea Office, now abandoned and in danger of collapsing

Another abandoned house by the sea shore

Such devices are not in use anymore

Arctic conditions favors the preservation of wood

This monument is telling the story about the importance of the coal-mining

The “main street” – as You can see – needs a little bit of work

In 2010 local school have been covered in cool mural, reminding the inhabitants of their home country

Technological and government building looks a way different now

There are also two modernised residential buildings, just a few steps from the bust of Lenin and a slogan: “Our aim – Communism!”

The “Russian Consulate” – the centre of all governmental activities

Although worn-out and old, the Orthodox church is still in use

The old hovercraft-thingy, left to rot on the sea shore

Returning from Barentsburg by the boat, You can also see another post-Soviet settlement – Grumant

This one is compeletly abandoned and serves as a reminder of the fierce force of the arctic nature