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town in Svalbard, Norway




archipelago and traditional district in Nordland county, Norway




municipality in Nordland, Norway




is Western Europe's largest wilderness, in the Arctic.


Sights (2)

Longyearbyen Hospital

hospital in Norway




mountain in Svalbard, Norway



we will see


Someday we will visit Svalbard or begin to dream about going there! However, for now its not on our radar. Let us know in the comments if you think that should change!


Svalbard (Russian: Шпицберген, Shpitsbergen or Грумант, Grumant) is a group of islands located between the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Greenland Sea, and the Norwegian Sea. The area is sometimes referred to as Spitsbergen, the main island with all the settlements. The islands are directly north of Norway, and under Norwegian rule since 1920. Svalbard's settlements are the northernmost permanently inhabited spots on the planet, after the Canadian military base at Alert.

The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 defines Svalbard as all islands, islets and skerries from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The land area is 61,022 km (23,561 sq mi), and dominated by the island of Spitsbergen, which constitutes more than half the archipelago, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya. All settlements are located on Spitsbergen, except the meteorological outposts on Bjørnøya and Hopen. The Norwegian state took possession of all unclaimed land, or 95.2% of the archipelago, at the time the Svalbard Treaty entered into force; Store Norske, a Norwegian coal mining company, owns 4%, Arktikugol, a Russian coal mining company, owns 0.4%, while other private owners hold 0.4%.

The three main industries on Svalbard are coal mining, tourism, and research. In 2007, there were 484 people working in the mining sector, 211 people working in the tourism sector, and 111 people working in the education sector. The same year, the mining gave a revenue of 2.008 billion Norwegian kroner (US$227,791,078), tourism 317 million kroner ($35,967,202), and research 142 million kroner ($16,098,404). In 2006, the average income for economically active people was 494,700 kroner; 23% higher than on the mainland. Almost all housing is owned by the various employers and institutions and rented to their employees; there are only a few privately owned houses, most of which are recreational cabins. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to live on Svalbard without working for an established institution.

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