Pyramiden Monochromes

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

Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Welcoming committee, Longyearbyen.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Billefjorden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Billefjorden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Billefjorden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nordenskiöld Glacier. (Expands to large image).

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nordenskiöld Glacier.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Nordenskiöld Glacier.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pyramiden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sassenfjorden?.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sassenfjorden?.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Kapp Thorsden.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pingo.

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Reindeer.

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Architecture, Black and White, Coal, Landscape, Longyearbyen, Monochrome, Nordenskiöld Glacier, Photography, Pyramiden, Russia, seascape, Spitsbergen, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Coal mining plant above Longyearbyen.

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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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Pyramiden

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

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

From Nordenskiöld Glacier, we sailed across the fjord to Pyramiden, an abandoned Russian coal mining town.

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

Pyramiden was founded by Sweden in 1910 and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927.  It closed down in 1998 and 1,000 people once lived here.

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

There is now a small hotel there and it is possible to stay overnight.  Almost certainly, this is not the hotel.

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

However, this is still polar bear country.  Wherever you wander, there must be someone with a rifle and you are not permitted to wander away from the group.

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

An interesting array of old industrial artifacts.

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

As you can see from the plan, it’s a substantial settlement.

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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 .

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

Instructions by a guide before proceeding.

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

The old mine structures are still impressive.

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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

And when we look back, there is the Nordenskiöld Glacier on the other side of the fjord.

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

There must be a story with this building.  On the door it says “ПOCTOPOHH ИM BXOД ЗAПPEЩEH!”, which corresponds in Roman letters to “NOSTORONNEEM VCHOD ZANROSHCHON!”.  What that means I have no idea though it seems ЗAПPEЩEH is ALARM.

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

A cache of bricks awaiting new construction.

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

Pyramiden was named for the pyramid-shaped hill.  Here, the cloud has just about cleared enough for you to make it out..

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

Some refined brickwork here.

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

Soviet monumentalist art deco perhaps.

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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 .

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

We’re on a road to nowhere….

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