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Svalbard Pictures: Longyearbyen


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Longyearbyen is the administrative center of Svalbard with a population of around 1,500. It is named after John M. Longyear who estabilsed a coal mine here in 1906. From being a typical coal mining community Longyearbyen has developed to be a cummunity with number of businesses, a University Centre, a hospital, school, many hotels, restaurants and bars, shops, and a number of tour operators and organizers. Svalbard's airport is also located in Longyearbyen.

The mining industry is now less important for Svalbard's economy, but some mines are still in operation, and you can see the remains of several closed mines.

To be honest, Longearbyen is not a very beautiful town. It consists of mostly small wooden houses with no distinct city structure. However, the surroundings are magnificent, and Longyearbyen should be visited because of the short distance to many attractions and, of course, because of the hotels, restaurants and shops.