Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

Longyearbyen is the northernmost settlement with a population of about two thousand people. It is located on Spitsbergen — in the habitat of polar bears, so the weapon carries virtually every local. And yet there is Parking for sled dogs and abandoned mines, around which, in fact, appeared this town.

Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

British traveler and journalist Sadie Whitlocks talked about the summer trip to Longyearbyen, the largest settlement and the administrative center of Svalbard on Spitsbergen.

Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

The city was named in honor of its founder, engineer and entrepreneur John Munro Longyear of that laid here coal mine in 1906. In 1916, the settlement was sold to the Norwegian company.

During the Second world war, after the occupation of Norway in 1940, the residents of Longyearbyen was evacuated to the UK. The city itself and many of its mines were destroyed in 1943 by fire from German warships but after the war they were quickly rebuilt.

Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

A sign warns residents and visitors to the city that polar bears can be found all over Svalbard.

With polar bears here a special relationship. As Svalbard — the Kingdom of the bears, almost all the residents carry guns in case of attack, and every student at the local University in the first days of school, learns to shoot.

Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

"It is forbidden to bring into the store guns and rifles"

Yes, this small settlement has a University, which makes the capital of Svalbard a unique place: here is the northernmost University in the world, the Northern hospital, library, etc.

As in the winter months, the locals get around on snowmobiles and dog sledding, there's even includes a special "Parking" for dogs.

Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

Sign "Please don't leave their dogs behind. Parking is available on the flagpole".

Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

On the dark hillsides, the journalist noticed a few abandoned coal mines with wooden shacks.

Coal mining in and around the city almost disappeared by the beginning of 1990-ies, and today products the only operating mine in the city is used mainly for the needs of the city's power plant.

Today, the once mining town turned into an important tourist centre of Norway, where every year thousands of tourists arrive to witness the magnificent Arctic nature.

Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

Since the mid-20th century, the authorities have embarked on the normalization of life in the city and the development of social infrastructure. In those same years, began a significant development of tourism and research activities. The opening of the airport in 1975 was an important event for the life of Longyearbyen, which gradually turned into a tourist destination.

Longyearbyen: the most Northern town on Earth, which by law are not allowed to die

Interesting fact: Longyearbyen has a law that prohibits dying in its territory. If someone is seriously ill or an incident occurred with a potentially fatal outcome, the victim must immediately fly to another part of Norway, where he will die. But even if the death occurs in the city, the dead are buried is still on the mainland. These measures are caused by the fact that the permafrost body after the burial does not decompose, and attract the attention of predators.

Keywords: Archipelago | Far North of Norway | North

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