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Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Longyearbyen, or Longyear City, is located at Isfjorden, or Ice Fjord, where it serves as a coal-mining hub and the chief port and administrative center for the isolated island group. The only airport offering shceduled flights to mainland Norway is located nearby. Longyearbyen is the place to get your trip arranged before you head off for the wild and unknown. In recent years, research activites related to climate and the aurora borealis have increased, and there are scientists and some university students here as well. Although located in the arctic climate zone with large glaciers covering most of the island, temperatures in July is on average about 7 C (46 F).

While the name may seem apt to someone working in near isolation from civilization, Longyearbyen takes its name from the American mining entrepreneur John M. Longyear who founded the town in 1906.

Sights

Longyearben Gallery

In the gallery you can see the Svalbard collection of old maps and books, a slides show of photographer and composer, Thomas Widerberg, and an exhibition of KÃ¥re Tveters paintings. From time to time there are also sales exhibitions.

 
Longyearben Church

The church is open for visitors every day and there is a service nearly every Sunday. Every Tuesday evening, the church is open with sale of coffee and Norwegian waffles. Here you get to know Longyearbyen and the people better.

 
Longyearben Museum

The museum offers various exhibition of flora, fauna, coal mining, hunting history and Svalbard during the 2nd World War etc. Through the museum you may also get sightseeing at the funicular centre, where you can see how the coal was transported earlier.

 
The Cable Way

The cable way trestles are cultural monuments over the manual driven coal mining in Longyearbyen. Then the coal was transported in kibs (carriers) on the cable way to the cleaning plant.

 
Mines

Some of the entrances to the closed mines are worth a visit. The entrance of Mine no. 2b is highly recommended. You will be able to draw a little picture of how coal mining was driven in the good old days. As a matter of fact, this mine is where Santa Claus lives.

 
Spitsbergen Airship Museum

Llocated nearby the church of the village. the purpose of the museum is to impart the history and importance 3 airships have had in Svalbard and in the Arctic.

"America” (Wellman Chicago Record Herald Polar Expedition) in 1907/1909

”Norge” (”Amundsen-Ellsworth-Nobile, Transpolar Flight”) in 1926

”Italia” expedition (with Nobile) in 1928, as well as the rescue expeditions, at and close to Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, that followed the 1928 expedition.