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The ghost town at the end of the earth

A view of "Pyramid," the Russian mining outpost on the Arctic Ocean island of Spitsbergen,   abandoned in 1998. It was considered a Soviet paradise in the 1970s and 1980s with a nursery, a school, a sports and entertainment centerand a warm swimming pool covered with a roof made of Karelia birch. (Vladimir Prokofiev/The Siberian Times)

The ghost town at the end of the earth


This old mining outpost, called Pyramid (Pyramiden) and abandoned in 1998, is on the Arctic Ocean island of Spitsbergen. An anomaly, it is a deserted Soviet town that is in fact in Norway, just 1300 km from the North Pole. The facility was founded in 1910 by Sweden and sold to the USSR in 1927. And no, it is not in Siberia, but we liked the Arctic pictures and ice-scapes which highlight a spirit of conquering the cold which is a Siberian quality; indeed among the people who came to work here were many from Siberia.

'Welcome to the very end of the earth,' said Vladimir Prokofiev, whose amazing images capture a lost Soviet world which is now becoming a tourist attraction for intrepid travellers to this remote outpost. He took the images when he worked here as a guide for the mainly Western tourists in spring. (The Siberian Times)

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