Pyramiden and Lenin

Pyramiden, Spitsbergen. Day 37. 4th August 2013.

Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

In the foreground Lenin and in the background the pyramidical mountain from which Pyramiden gets its name, now emerging from cloud.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

As it happens, I’ve just been reading a book about Lenin’s brother, Alexander Ulyanov, who was hanged in 1887 for his involvement in a plot to assassinate Tsar Alexander III.  There had been an earlier plot by a The People’s Will that had succeeded in assassinating Alexander II in 1881.  The 1887 group was a much smaller spin-off from that organisation.  Both had similar ideologies, imagining that killing the Tsar would lead to liberal socialism, whereas it lead to reaction and in the case of Alexander II, probably prevented the introduction of parliamentary democracy.

Alexander Ulyanov was a distinguished zoology student before he became a terrorist.  He was the chief ideologist of the group and also assisted in making the bombs.  He was only a Marxist in part.  There must have been an element of chance in his radicalisation whereas it is very likely that his execution was a major factor in the radicalisation of his brother Vladimir.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

Here, Lenin looks out over Pyramiden and out to the Nordenskiöld Glacier.  The Soviets bought Pyramiden in 1927, three years after Lenin died, so it must be his ghost who watches.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

All empires decline and Pyramiden is no doubt no longer what once it was.  The buildings are generally locked following looting and vandalism in the initial years after the Russian abandonment.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

Some symbols have fallen out (or perhaps been stolen)….

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel .

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

while others remain.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

A fetching logo, but what do the words say?  Let’s see: APKTИKУГOАЪ ШПИЦБЕРГЕН =  Arkteekoogoa Shpeetsbyerrgyen, so Arctic Spitsbergen.  Also, we must be at 79° North.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

Perhaps a voodoo doll guarding the door….

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

This is clearly an instructional illustration advising what to do if you encounter a frog who is carrying an arrow and wearing a crown outside the Pyramiden settlement in Spitsbergen.  Probably, if you kiss the frog it turns into a polar bear.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

The cultivated plant life leaves something to be desired.  Perhaps this is related in some way to it not having been watered since 1998.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

This is a place where there was a lot of time to create things such as giant mosaics though some of the tiles appear to have now fallen out.

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel .

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Architecture, Coal, History, Landscape, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel

We can still see some interesting examples of interior design.

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Architecture,

This perhaps looks like a cross between an Eisenstein set for Ivan the Terrible and Art Nouveau (though the two are no doubt related anyway).

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9 comments on “Pyramiden and Lenin

  1. This has to be among the most bizarre places on earth.

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  2. archecotech says:

    Again a wonderful post. The frog with an arrow in it come from one of the Russian fairy tales.

    Like

  3. archecotech says:

    Reblogged this on Reflecting on Anselm and commented:
    Murray did quite a bit of exploring in the abandoned town of Pyramiden. Shared with him I would have paid a nice sum of money to have been there with him. Check out these great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] I have a few posts out of order.  This post was supposed to come after Pyramiden and Lenin and before Husky Hotel.  The previous Lofoten Monochromes was supposed to be at the end of the […]

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