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Svalbard Pictures: Barentsburg (Баренцбург)


 



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Barentsburg is a Russian settlement on Svalbard. This cole mining community has roughly 1,000 inhabitans, mostly from Russia and Ukraine. Since 1932 the Russian state trust "Arktikugol" has been operating on Svalbard. At the moment one mine is in operation, while two russian mines have been shut down ("Piramide" closed in 1998 and "Grumant" closed in 1961). Currently plans of re-opening mines are being discussed.

Barentsburg is like a small town with generally larger buildings than in Longyearbyen. Barentsburg has a hotel, hospital, museum, library, theatre, a farm for producing milk, a green house for growing vegetables, and a few cafes and bars. In addition there are industrial areas related to the coal mines and also large buildings with flats for the miners.

Barentsburg has kept some of the symbols from the Soviet aera: a large statue of Lenin can still be found in the upper part of the city; is watching the city and the beautiful scenery in Svalbard. The Pomor Museum has a large Soviet-style sign, while some of the other buildings look like Soviet remains. It is a pity, though, that the maintenance of these beautiful and historical buildings has not been good.