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Under the Watchful Eye of Lenin

A Post-Soviet Industrial

Cruises to Pyramiden

General Information

About Pyramiden

Pyramiden is a former mining settlement, which was established in 1910. It owes its name to a nearby pyramid-shaped mountain. When in 1927 it was acquired by the Soviet Union, it became the site of an unprecedented propaganda and economics socialist experiment. Although it was closed in 1988, in recent years it has been reviving as a tourist attraction.

You can visit here the remains of a settlement full of Soviet symbols, taste some Russian specialties in the bar and after trekking along the mine equipment, climb to the top, where you can admire stunning panoramas of the area by a hot grill.

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The World Under the Watchful Eye of Lenin

The Soviet Union, for propaganda reasons, wanted to make Pyramiden its pearl, the northernmost mining settlement. It started implementing the idea on a grand scale, by building a settlement, which at times accommodated 1,000 people. A mine, a port, blocks of flats, a parade ground, to which the best land from the Ukraine was brought. Thanks to this, grass grows here, which is unique in this land. A large swimming pool, greenhouses were built and farm animals were bred. During the heyday of the settlement, in the 1980s, there were more than 1,000 inhabitants there.

A two-year stay in this place was a prize for the best miners. The standard of living was high by Soviet standards and work at Pyramiden was regarded as promotion and privilege. The town was to be the showpiece of the Soviet Union in the West.

Financial reasons and changes related to the break-up of the USSR led to the liquidation of Pyramiden. It was also caused by the 1996 aviation crash, in which many family members of Arktikugol employees were killed.

Today, the bust of Lenin, who once directed his watchful eye to work in the mine, is watching reindeer herds feeding the grass brought especially to this place.

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