The Post-Soviet City Of Barentsburg On The Svalbard Archipelago

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!

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

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

#3 Another abandoned house by the sea shore

#4 Such devices are not in use anymore

#5 Arctic conditions favors the preservation of wood

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

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

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

#9 Technological and government building looks a way different now

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

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

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

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

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

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