THE ABANDONED SCHOOL AT SPITSBERGEN
This is the abandoned school of Pyramiden. A small deserted mining town on Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.
The Russian mining settlement of Pyramiden was abandoned in 1998. Since then time has virtually been standing still here. Especially this kindergarten and elementary school has all the original educational materials and toys still present.
The village Pyramiden is situated in Billefjorden, the village is named after the pyramid shaped mountain close by. Mining here started in the summer of 1910 by Sweden. In 1927 the Swedes sold Pyramiden to a Russian mining company. As a result the town became a small Russian village. Pyramiden was a good place to be for Russian families. For this reason work in the mines here was very popular through the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
With its wide streets and planned town-structure the place is a witness to the Soviet presence. Everything here was designed with efficiency and with mining in mind, but also with the intention of taking care of the workers’ welfare and family life. In contrast to the male dominated Longyearbyen, a community of families was normal for the Russian settlements.
The photos of the abandoned Pyramiden School were taken in 2018 during my Spitsbergen trip. In case you like this location, see more locations from this island at the North Pole here.