9 Abandoned  City on the Russian Polar Norwegian Svalbard Island

Abandoned City on the Russian Polar Norwegian Svalbard Island

Posted on October 1, 2015 by tim

A Pyramida  (Pyramid)  Village is a Russian town that has stayed untouched since 1990s when it was abandoned shortly after the collapse of the USSR. The difference between this particular Soviet town and many other abandoned sites we’ve seen is its location. It’s not in Russia. Yes, it is based on a Norwegian island Svalbard or Spitzbergen as its called in Dutch and in Russia. In Soviet times Russians have a right to use this part of the island and even had couple of towns there. But now it is all abandoned and has not beem destroyed or rampaged by looters as its too far away from Russia and permafrost preserves things well. Let’s see what’s there.   Thanks to prominent Russian blogger and traveler Sergey D. we can now dip into some well preserved Russian past:

First thing Sergey has visited there was a club or “House of Culture” as those were called in USSR. The sign on it says it was built in 1968 and “conserved” in 1998.

Sergey says he got really nostalgic there as there were plenty of things well known from his Soviet past.

A movie theater in the club.

And a grand piano.

These are projectors. On the floor you can see the rolls of film.

He says that gym stays totally untouched. Previously, Russian teams competed here against Norwegians.

And some iron to pump.

A library without books. Sergey suspects that Norwegians stole them all.

Old Soviet motivational posters “Decorate the world with good deeds!”

This club even had its own sound recording studio.   You can see the sound proof walls and giant balalaikas.


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9 Responses to “Abandoned City on the Russian Polar Norwegian Svalbard Island”

  1. al says:

    What I saw of them were great photos, but TWO photos per page ! I soon gave up.
    This used to be a excellent site for “Russian ” pics. If it carries on like this thats another viewer gone.

    • tim says:

      there is just one dollar subscription which give you all pics on one page for 365 days. for just 1 dollar.

      • TysonZA says:

        I prefer 2 pics per page, my work internet is very slow so more than that it becomes an issue for me ot view things at English Russia.

    • Yvonne Smith says:

      It’s actually $2 now…but surely you can afford $2 for a whole year? The guy running this website deserves a bit for his efforts, no?

  2. Martinus van Brederode says:

    I hiked in Spitsbergen and visited Piramiden with a group in 2006.

    We were not allowed into the buildings but walking around outside was already impressive enough. Nearly a ghost town (there was a handful of men, cleaning up the industrial mess, I presume) I was touched by the surroundings, the old Soviet buildings and monuments (Lenin is still out there). People had a life there and almost from one moment to the other left everything behind.

    Thanks very much for these time capsule photographs. I love the colours, showing that life was not always so bleak in the arctic.

    • Roman Priesol says:

      I didn’t know that it is so cheap..subscribed :)

    • Lucas says:

      I also hiked Spitsbergen, and Pyramiden was also one of my destinations there.

      “Luckily” other people had forced the locks and barricades on the doors of most houses. That made it possible for us to enter almost all buildings except the centre of culture and the sports centre/swimming pool (I had already visited the sports centre and swimming pool in Barentsburg, so I did not mind).

      I have to admit that exploring the abondoned city of Pyramiden was amazing. Walking through warehouses, offices, control centers, storage buildings and workshops was amazing, it is really like going back in time.

      I can say that most of the workers were not cleaning up the industrail mess (it is not really apriority for Russia although they did clean up the scrapyard of Barentsburg) but they were there to do maintenance on some buildings because maybe they will go back there in the future. The consul of Barentsburg told us that the mines of Barentsburg will be exhausted in a few years, and that they will have to find a way to cover the expanses (The only reason that Russia still has settlements on Spitsbergen is for the purpose of geopolitics. Barentsburg and Pyramiden were never profitable) and that they will look for ways to get some money. He mentioned reopening the mines at Pyraiden or focussing on tourists.

  3. Leandro Piva says:

    Come on, just 2 dollars…

  4. brindle_bullet@hotmail.com says:

    Yeah, best two bucks I’ve spent! Absolutely worth it.

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