Connor Hicks

Travel, Landscape & Urban Photographer

Pyramiden, Svalbard

Situated between Norway and the North Pole deep in the Arctic Circle lies the land of the Polar Bears, Svalbard.

Lying in the foot of Billefjorden on the island of Spitsbergen is the former soviet mining town Pyramiden (scandinavian for pyramid)  The mine was founded in 1910 by Sweden and later sold to the Soviet union in 1927.

Owned by the state-owned Russian mining company Arktikugol Tust, Pyramiden once had over 1000 employees and residents. The town had its own sports centre, theatre, music halls, swimming pool and a canteen that was open 24 hours a day. This all came free to the residents, including the apartments which they lived in.

On 31st March the last piece of coal was extracted, and the residents left, locking up their possessions hoping to someday return.

Pyramiden was practically a ghost town until 2007, and now only 12 people live and work there in the recently refurbished hotel, they don’t have any WiFi and phone signal is scarce, their stocks are replenished once a month by boat or helicopter.

 

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