[Looking up Barentsburg from the port]
Barentsburg looking up from the port
(click photo to enlarge)

[Barentsburg from an airplane] [Barentsburg from an airplane]
(You can enlarge photos by clicking)
Barentsburg from airplane

Barentsburg, Russian mining settlement, is situated on the sunny east slope of Greenfjorden.
The Russian company " Trust Arktikugol " has been mining here since it bought the settlement from the Netherlands in 1932.
However, the mining seems to have been stopped due to fire on 17th Apr., 2008.
Moreover, Barentsburg feels sorrow for sever reduction in prices of coal as well as oil, drop in the value of Russian currency, and worse relationship with Ukraine, where a majority of Barentsburg's workforce comes from.
1Boat landing2Harbor Master
3Stolovaya, Bakery, Cafe and carteen4Town Square, Platform, Souvenior Stall
5Gymnasium6Library, Hall, Theater
7Trust Arktikgol8Pomor Museum
9Hotel Barentsburg10Lenin statue
11Ice Cream Cafe12Russian Consulate
13Hockey ground14Alexandre Football pitch
15Green House
(Vegetable, Pigs, etc.)
16Heliport 2km
19To Mine20To Longyearbyen
21To Power Plant

Landing to Barentsburg

From the wharf, a charming woman guided us. "Welcome to Barentsburg. Please go up the stairs with 263 steps to the town center."

Pomor Museum (Map 8)

The museum faces to the main street, paved with stone, near the theater.

[Building of the museum] (click photo to enlarge)
"Pomor" means Russian people living in the White Sea area. "Po" and "more" mean "by" and "sea", respectively.
Our guide told us the people first had discovered Svalbard, not Willem Barents, so the museum was named after them.
The museum is introduced by "Lonely Planet" as "you should rush into the museum during the tour"
Since I could spend only about half an hour at the museum, I was unable to enjoy the articles on exhibition.
attentionYou can see the lights in the museum turned off in the above photo. The lights are considered to be turned on only during the guests in the museum. Is it an idea for reducing electric power?

According to the Barents Observer, the museum has been closed to public since 2008 summer.
See also Wikipedia.
Ticket (obverse side)Ticket (reverse side)
Brochure (obverse side)Brochure (reverse side)

The first floor of the museum contained a souvenir shop, a cloak room, and an art room exhibiting pictures.
In the souvenir shop, even post cards sent from the Russian mainland and notes used in Byelorussia were sold.
I could not obtain the commissary note issued by Trust Arktikugol, of course.

The second floor consisted of seven rooms.

Room 1 NatureRoom 2 Geology
[Bear and caribou]


[Photo of birds]
(Each photo can be enlarged by clicking.)
[Room 2]

(click photo to enlarge)
There were some mineral samples such as precambrian rocks

Room 3 XVI - XVIII B. B. SpitsbergenRoom 4 Barents expeditionRoom 5 Scientific exploration of Spitsbergen
[Room 3]

[Hunting tool]
(Each photo can be enlarged by clicking)
(no photo) [V. A. Rusanov]

[Sled with bear]
(Each photo can be enlarged by clicking)
Fishhook, harpoon, earthen vessel, some pieces of wood, axe, rope, etc.
Explanations were Russian only.
In spite of the instruction by our guide, the Russians seems to accept the great work by Willem Barents. Rusanov is a Russian explorer. (1875 - 1913)
Sled and polar bear

Room 6 Barentsburg yesterday and today
[1920 - 41]
(click photo to enlarge)
(click photo to enlarge)
1920 - 41
Russian explanation only.
There were many mentions about 1932, which is the year the Trust Arktikugol purchased the mine.
Many photos about sea and ship. A ship was surrounded by ice in a photo.
Era of war (WWII)
Many photos in the war
(The following is the translation of the explanations written in Russian. I am afraid of some misinterpretation since I tried to translate them from the photo shown here, and I do not know Russian.)
On 22nd June 1941, the radio at Barentsburg broadcasted the attack of Germany to USSR. The cargo ships left Barensburg to the mainland within the same day. The traffic between Barentsburg and the mainland was interrupted. The explorers worked well to save their motherland. Operations at the mine did not stop even for a little while. The residents at Barentsburg sent their investment about a million roubles. Barentsburg was attacked from sea and air. It was planned explosions of the drift of the mine and the loading machine. All residents ran away to the mountain and received minimum food and fuel, which had been kept for emergency.
In autumn (25 Aug.) 1941, the miners and their family were evacuated from Barentsburg to Arkhangelsk by H. M. S. Empress of Canada.

On 8th Sept. 1943, the German fleet (D. K. M. Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, and nine destroyers) shelled Barentsburg. All constructions were destroyed within half a day.

Room 6 Barentsburg yesterday and today
[Recovery from the WWII]
(click photo to enlarge)
[1950 - 90]
(click photo to enlarge)
[Scientific research]
(click photo to enlarge)
Recovery from war during 1946 - 1950 It was a very active era in Barentsburg in 1950s to 1990s. In 1970s, a large scale construction programme gained momentum at Barentsburg including blocks of Mats, a hospital, a kindergarten, a sports completes and a swimming pool. a recreation compien with a movie, a concert hall, and a dance, a public library with a classrooms and last but not least, a set of research buildings. Scientific research

Room 6 Barentsburg yesterday and today
[Properties of the ballerina ?]
(click photo to enlarge)
[Friendship between USSR and Norge]
(click photo to enlarge)
(click photo to enlarge)
Probably, photos and articles report a famous person visited Barensburg.
To my surprise, the title of the newspaper is "Spasiba Barentsburg" (written in English).
There were photos of Maya Plisetskaya who spent her early childhood here.
Friendship between USSR and Norge
According to the brochure, a special bay in the room is devoted to Russian - Norwegian relations as they developed in Spitsbergen, and some of the gifts that the Barentsburg mine received from overseas and Russian guests are displayed.
Medals presented to the veterans of the mine worker
Some badge seemed to be a commemoration of visitor (Navy ?)

Room 7 Mine view
[Model in mine]
(click photo to enlarge)
I returned to the room 1 through the passage shown in the center of the photo.

1st floor cloak room, art room exhibiting pictures
[Model in mine]
(click photo to enlarge)
Some tourist (almost Norwegian) took videos.

After leaving the museum, I went to Hotel Barentsburg.

Trust Arktikgol

[Workers in the front of the office]
(click photo to enlarge)
Some workers were waiting (?) in the front of the office. They came here by a vehicle (truck) just before this capture.

Hotel Barentsburg

[Main street of Barentsburg] [Hotel]
(Each photo can be enlarged by clicking)
[in the front of the hotel]
(click photo to enlarge)
The hotel stood at the end of the main street. When I visited, the last "r" of "Hotel Barentsburg" was lost.
I hear the center house (colored green) was demolished in 2013.
Norwegian postal and telephone emblem were hung out in the front of the hotel. Though it is difficult to recognize in the above photo, I was putting a drink bottle to a trash. The trash was a penguin opening its mouth, which lives in the Antarctic far from here. The design of the trash seemed to be standardize in Barentsburg, and I found no refuse in the road.

[Dining room of the hotel]
(click photo to enlarge)
[Souvenior shop in the hotel]
(click photo to enlarge)
The dining room situated at the first floor. Vodka bottles in the bar was impressive. The interior was kept by fine woods. I spent some time at a souvenir shop which sold small dolls, Russian caps, gloves, shoes, and T-shirts. I felt strange that there was a counter selling women's underwear at a corner of the shop.

My visit for 1.5h was over at the hotel.

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Last Modified : 8th Feb., 2015