PYRAMIDEN | the ghost city in Spitsbergen island

Our world is full with awesome places to travel and also mysterious ones. Enjoy one of the mysterious places in the world - Pyramiden, the ghost city in Spitsbergen island.

Pyramiden is an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Founded by Sweden in 1910 and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927, Pyramiden was closed in 1998 and has since remained largely abandoned with most of its infrastructure and buildings still in place, the cold climate preserving much of what has been left behind.


Since 2007, there have been efforts to make it a tourist attraction; the town's hotel was renovated and reopened in 2013.


Pyramiden is closest to the North Pole as you can get. With more polar bears living on Spitsbergen than people, it is best described as a remote wilderness area.

A BIT HISTORY

Pyramiden was founded by Sweden in 1910 and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. It lies at the foot of the Billefjorden on the island of Spitsbergen and is named after the pyramid-shaped mountain with the same name adjacent to the town. In Soviet times, the population was mostly Ukrainian, consisting of miners from Donbass and staff from Volyn.

Owned by the state-owned Russian mining company Arktikugol Trust, Pyramiden once had over 1,000 inhabitants. Among its amenities were a cultural center with a theater, a library, art and music studios; a sports complex; and a cantina open 24 hours a day. It also had a primary school. The northernmost monument to Vladimir Lenin and the northernmost swimming pool are also located here.


On 31 March 1998, the last coal was extracted from the mine and the last permanent resident left by October 10.


Until 2007, Pyramiden was practically a ghost town where, within the buildings, things remained largely as they were when the settlement was abandoned in a hurry.


HOW TO GET TO PYRAMIDEN

You can get to Pyramiden by boat in summer or snowmobile in winter. These trips feature guided tours of the settlements and it’s possible to enter some of the buildings. Both places have hotels where it’s possible to eat a meal and stay overnight.


From February to approx. 17 May the only way to get to Pyramiden is by snowmobile. To get to Pyramiden by snowmobile, it's recommend that you have previous experience with driving a snowmobile.

In the summertime, you can travel to Pyramiden by boat. Several companies offer day trips on boats with capacities ranging from 12-140 passengers. It’s possible to book one-way tickets to Pyramiden if you want to stay overnight or spend several days at these settlements.

It’s possible to reach Pyramiden by boat as early as March and throughout the winter/spring if ice conditions permit. However, the ice may prevent you from going ashore, particularly in Pyramiden. The alternative when this is the case is a wonderful cruise along the ice edge with the chance to spot wildlife and see Pyramiden and maybe also the Nordenskiöld glacier in the distance.


IMPORTANT!

There are had cases of people entering/breaking into the houses in Pyramiden. Please observe safety and respect private property - do not enter cabins or houses that are not open to the public.

ATTRACTIONS NEAR

  • Svalbard Museum

The exhibition presents fragments of Svalbard's 400-year history and describes factors that help support life and the activities taking place here, which together reveal the close relationship between sea and land, nature and cultural history.

  • Svalbard Kirke

  • North Pole Expedition Museum

Open every day from 9 am to 5 pm. The (formerly Spitsbergen Airship Museum) museum is an expedition museum and the northernmost aviation museum in the world. The museum is about expeditions to the North Pole, departing from Svalbard. The emphasis is on the 'America', the 'Norge' and the 'Italia' expeditions. Several hours of the original expidition movies running continuosly. The exhibitions is a collage between old newspapers, postcards, photos, plane modelas, several hours of original movie material, clothes, stamps, letters, telegrams and more. Open daily Febuary through September.

  • Svalbard Brewery

During a visit at Svalbard Bryggeri you will hear about how Svalbard Bryggeri became a reality, how former coal miner and pilot Robert Johansen got the idea about establishing his own brewery on the northern most settlement, Longyearbyen Svalbard, and what would be required to implement the dream. You will taste five different beers brewed on 2000-year-old glacier water from Bogerbreen.

  • Snowmobile Safari Svalbard

  • Magdalena Bay

This area is absolutely stunning, beautiful and amazing, beautiful fjords and bays sailing and stopping of to admire the wonderful nature at its best.

LITTLE BIT MORE IMPRESSION ABOUT THIS SVALBARD TERRITORY:


SVALBARD IS SO FAR NORTH IT WOULD BE PERMANETLY LOCKED IN BY ICE WITHOUT THE GULF STREAM

Svalbard is located further north than the most northerly settlement in Greenland. Unlike Greenland, the waters around the south and west of Svalbard are relatively free of ice due to the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream that pushes warmer waters up the coast. An ideal way to see Svalbard is from the water on a small expedition vessel. Find out more here.

The sun doesn’t set in Svalbard for five months of the year

SVALBARD IS SO FAR NORTH THAT THE SUN DOESN'T SET FOR THE ENTIRE SUMMER

Svalbard is so far north that the sun doesn’t set for the entire summer, from April 19th through to August 23rd. A great time to visit if you are a sun worshiper. Don’t forget your shades!


ONE NIGHT IN SVALBARD LASTS FOR THREE MONTHS DURING THE WINTER

Can you imagine not seeing a sunrise for three months? The opposite of the midnight sun in summer is the polar night during the winter. It commences around the beginning of November and ends at the end of January. You will not see a glimpse of the sunlight in Svalbard during that time.

SVALBARD IS A GREAT PLACE TO SEE THE NORTHEN LIGHTS

Due to its twenty-four hour darkness during the winter and its far northerly location, Svalbard is an excellent place to view the northern lights. Svalbard’s cold, dry climate means more clear nights than most other places in the northern lights belt. Don’t expect to see them in the summer though.


SVALBARD ONLY HAS 25 MILES OF ROAD

That’s not a lot of tarmac for such a large area. The good news is you are unlikely to get stuck in a traffic jam.



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