11 Biggest Northernmost Russian City From Above

Biggest Northernmost Russian City From Above

Posted on June 17, 2014 by tim

Norilsk is the world’s Northernmost city with a population over 100,000 people. Here are some photos of Norilsk taken from above. Due to its smog and acid rain pollution it’s sometimes called the dirtiest Russian city, and the temperatures here can be -40 in winter. The Russian blogger, Slava, made a trip to Norilsk in June and was surprised that it still had snow in some parts of the city.

Norilsk is located in the north of the Krasnoyarsk region, it owes its existence to the construction of the world largest mining and metal producing plant.

Norilsk is the world’s second largest city (by population) situated in the Arctic circle (after Murmansk).

In general, it is home for over 170 thousand people. You might be surprised to know that the city is inhabited not only by rotation workers but by generations of families who have never wanted to leave despite the severe climate. And the climate is severe indeed – in winter the temperature may fall to -50C.

The city has polar days and polar nights. A polar day lasts about two months (the sun goes in circles without touching the horizon), and a polar night lasts about 1,5 months (it’s absolutely dark outside and people never switch their lights off).

The main entrance to Norilsk.

Norilsk buildings erected on permafrost soil.

Stalin’s houses were destroyed because they became unhabitable rather soon.

City districts are divided according to periods of construction.

Lenin’s avenue – the central street of Norilsk.

Some buildings resemble the ones of Saint-Petersburg, it’s because a number of Petersburg’s architects participated in the city construction projects.

“Norilsk” hotel.

“Arena-Norilsk” – shopping, sports and entertainment complex of the city.

Dolgoye Lake is used as a cooling reservoir for the local thermal plant.

Drama Theater.

Bus station.

Schmidt mount.

Nickel plant.

A number of Norilsk plants release plenty of poisonous emissions into the atmosphere, which has resulted in the catastrophic ecological situation in the city…

This district had a city status between 1982 and 2005 due to the open coal-mining field.

Further city development was connected with the construction of a smelter.

And here it is.

It is located twelve kilometers from Norilsk.

The smelter recycles pyrrhotite, copper and nickel concentrates.

Spray ponds of the smelter.

They are used for cooling the melting units.

Ready products of the smelter: nis material, anode copper, elemental sulphur.

Copper plant.

The plant produces about 300 thousand tons of electrolytic copper annually. Other ready products of the plant are sulfuric acid and sulphur.

The abandoned settlement, Alykel, was previously inhabited by military pilots.

These houses are still inhabited.

Thermal plant.

City bridge.

City mines.

Domestic airport.

Such houses serve as tourists camps.


Dudinka. The northernmost international sea port in Russia and the largest one in Siberia.

Dudinka is the only world port annually flooded in the period of spring ice floating.

The main regional transport hub that supports vital activity of the whole district and the Norilsk industry.

Traffic performance of the port terminals – 25 thousand tons daily. Annual turnover of the port is approximately three million tons.

In spring, the port terminals are flooded and all of the equipment is evacuated.

Loading of containers.

Summer navigation lasts for 130 days from June to October. Winter navigation is provided by an icebreaking fleet.

Car transportation.

Yes, it’s exactly how June looks in the Russian north.

via gelio

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11 Responses to “Biggest Northernmost Russian City From Above”

  1. Andrew says:

    The Blacksmith Institute included Norilsk in its 2007 list of the ten most polluted places on Earth. The Institute estimates four million tons of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, arsenic, selenium, and zinc are released into the air every year. The Russian Federal State Statistics Service named Norilsk the most polluted city in Russia. © wikipedia

  2. Muzzlehatch says:

    Russian cities are nothing if not colorful.

  3. ajwood says:

    The tourist camps look really nice.

  4. abc.rover says:

    I better be good from now on, because that must be what hell looks like.

  5. Hello there – I’m contacting you about your ‘Biggest Northernmost Russian City From Above’ photo series – we would very much like to host a gallery of these images on our site and would be happy to link back to your site – If you’d be interested in sharing 8 to 12 images with us please contact me – we would create a stand alone gallery and the gallery would be promoted on our homepages and would hopefully send lots of traffic your way. Thanks so very much for your time!
    Charles George
    Multi Media Photo Editor
    New York Daily News

  6. Hugh Crawford says:

    Andrew – You quote a huge number, but there is no source cited for this that we can verify it from:
    “The Institute estimates four million tons of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, arsenic, selenium, and zinc are released into the air every year.”
    Seems a little high for air pollution – since Wikipedia questions it, how about providing a source? (And Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, so does not count.)

    • Darius says:

      Well, the Wikipedia in most cases also has links to sources. In this the English version maybe doesn’t but the Russian – does. Also if you would google a bit you would find the mentioned blacksmith institute pages (like the worstpolluted.org) and there you would find the links to the data.

  7. Otis R. Needleman says:

    What a grim place.

  8. Antonio M says:

    Beautiful?… looks like a huge prison block to me.

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