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Nordic town in “top 10 ghost towns and ruins”

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Pyramiden is an abandoned settlement and mining town

For Halloween, newspaper The Guardian reveals its top ten abandoned villages, factories and military bases around the world. In the list is Pyramiden, an abandoned Russian settlement and mining community on Spitsbergen in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Boat tours to Pyramiden from Longyearbyen take nine to ten hours.

“If you’re looking for the world’s most northerly grand piano, then a trip to Pyramiden […] is in order,” the article says. “The deserted town, which features a big, steeple-shaped Soviet monument, a children’s playground, a sports hall and, yes, a couple of pianos, functioned as recently as 1998 when the last of the coal was extracted. Now you can visit by boat or snowmobile, and Trust Arktikugol – the coal-mining company that operates on the islands there – has been renovating parts of the settlement to make the desolate and icy place more accommodating for tourists.”

Other strange places on the list include Bodie, California, and St Elmo, Colorado, both gold-mining ghost towns; Teufelsberg listening station, Berlin, which the Americans used to spy on Soviet and East German military communications; the “murky” Missouri State Penitentiary in the US; the tiny former coal mining facility of Hashima Island, Japan; Tyneham, Dorset, UK, a small fishing community requisitioned by the government in preparation for the D-day landings; Fordlandia, Brazil, Henry Ford’s “Amazon Industrial Experiment” and industrial plant to harvest rubber for his cars; the former leper island of Spinalonga, Crete; and the old mining town of Mineral de Pozos, Mexico.

The Guardian

[photo by Hylgeriak/Wikipedia, Creative Commons]

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