Pyramid: Soviet ghost town on the very edge of the earth
The Soviet ghost town The pyramid is located beyond the Arctic Circle. This place is as if frozen by the time itself and the surrounding nature does everything possible to take the artificial buildings into itself. Deer, seals and foxes – that’s the only inhabitants of the place, which in the Soviet Union was called the new frontier.
Do not look for mystical underpings in the name of the village. The town was founded at the foot of a mountain of pyramidal form, that’s the whole secret. Up to Barentsburg, the nearest settlement, from here as much as 120 kilometers, so people seldom wander into these ruins.
In fact, the first settlement was founded here by the Swedes. Spetsbergens Svenska Kolfalt equip the mine back in 1911, and in 1931 sold the entire mine to the Soviet trust “Arktikugol”. Before the Second World War, the USSR managed to rebuild a small village and its own mine, but then the inhabitants had to be evacuated.
A thorough approach
After the war, in March 1947, the first street ran from the port to Pyramid. The settlement was expanding, geologists found all new exploration workings. For some years here have extracted about 70 thousand tons of coal, and by 1980 in Pyramid lived more than thousand person.
The plans were to turn a small settlement into a new regional center, around which new settlements would have already grown. The pyramid has got capital high-rise buildings, its pool, libraries and even a winter garden. People themselves sought to equip their way of life, understanding that maintaining a high morale in the Far North could be a vital issue.
The Royal Word
Until the year 1998, the Pyramid remained the most northern operating mine in the world. In 1995, the village was visited by the Norwegian King Harald V, who for some reason was delighted with local architecture and granted the title of “pearl” of the archipelago for this Pyramid.
The decision to close the mine was made in late 1997. At the time of closure, the annual coal production plan was 135,000 tons or 57 percent of the designed capacity of the mine. The decrease in the level of coal mining was due mainly to the inability to timely fill the work cleaning line due to difficult geological conditions. The main reasons for the decision to liquidate the mine were limited reserves and high coal extraction costs associated with the need to carry out a large volume of preparatory mine workings, as well as the ever-increasing costs of localizing an endogenous fire in the mine that arose in 1970 and is still operational.
What to see
The city is surrounded by an unfriendly northern locality. Mountains, glaciers and desert valleys – this situation can get the best optimist out of the rut. Right opposite the Pyramid is a huge glacier, Nordenskiold. Sometimes huge fragments of ice break down and fall into the sea, turning into icebergs.