On the island of West Svalbard is the small Norwegian town of Longyear or Longyearbyen. The name translates into Russian as "Long Year". Indeed, it will take a long time to get to this town, since it is officially recognized as the northernmost settlement in the world.
The city was founded more than 100 years ago, in 1906, by the US businessman John Munroe Longyear, who opened a coal mine here. In 1916, the Norwegian company Store Norske bought the settlement. Currently, just over 2, 000 people live here.
The climate in Longyearbyen is harsh, with the highest temperature recorded in July 1979. Then the thermometer reached 21.3 degrees, and the lowest temperature was recorded in March 1986 - minus 46.3 degrees.
Nowadays, coal mining no longer plays a big role in the economy of the town. There is only one mine, the products of which are used to heat Longyear itself. Currently, tourism brings the main income to the city treasury. There are 3 hotels in the city, and there are many tourists who want to visit this amazing town.
The city was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. In September 1943, the German battleship Scharnhorst fired at Longyearbyen, but by that time all residents had been evacuated to Great Britain and the city was empty. After the war, Longyearbyen was rebuilt.
It is interesting that there is only one weekly newspaper in the city, and its circulation is more than 3, 000 copies, that is, one and a half times more than the inhabitants of Longyearbyen. Subscribers from different parts of the world are probably attracted by the very opportunity to receive a newspaper from the northernmost town in the world.
In 1993, the Svalbard International University was opened here. It is also the most northerly educational institution in the world. Here students study Arctic geology, Arctic biology, and geophysics. It is interesting that every student should be able to use a weapon: there are many polar bears in Svalbard. About 350 students are educated at the university, and only half of them are Norwegians, and the rest come from other countries.
And one more interesting fact: in the city there is a law, according to which, in Longyear it is impossible ... to die. The local cemetery was closed over 70 years ago. And the thing is that in permafrost conditions, the bodies of the dead do not decompose and attract the attention of polar bears who dig out burials. Therefore, all seriously ill patients are immediately sent to Norway. Even if a person dies in Longyear, he will still be buried on the mainland.