Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and the administrative centre of Svalbard. The town has a population of approxiamteyl 2,000. It is the world's northernmost permanent settlement of any kind. It was founded in 1906 by the US enterpreneur John Munro Longyear.

Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and the administrative center of Svalbard with about 2'000 inhabitants. The place is considered to be the northernmost permanently inhabited settlement. The city was founded in 1906 by US entrepreneur John Munroe Longyear as a mining place. Nowadays, mining only takes place at Mine 7 and the the city now mainly lives on tourism and research. Longyearbyen has a modern infrastructure with various shops, restaurants, schools and kindergardens, swimming pool, cinema, gas station, port and airport. The road network is only about 40 kilometers long and does not connect to any of the other places on Svalbard. Snowmobile (in winter) and boats are therefore the main means of travel.

As Mine 7 is located a few miles outside of the city you don't see that much of the mining activities in or around Longyearbyen except the remains of the old mines and cableways. Still, half of the inhabitants live directly or indirectly from mining. What remains from the old mining period is the fact that in many places visitors are expected to take of their shoes when entering. Since the mine workers often became very dusty and dirty, they pulled out their shoes at the entrance to the houses.  This also applies to museums, hotels and school houses (excluding shopping centers).

More about Longyearbyen on Wikipedia.

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