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- Pyramiden is located on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago. The only ways to get there are by boat in the warmer months and from the Norwegian town of Longyearbyen by snowmobile in the winter.
- As one of the few Soviet outposts, the town was designed with state-of-the-art facilities “to show the USSR’s power off to the rest of the world,” according to the Arctic Institute. It had around 1,500 residents at its height in the mid-1990s.
- In 1998, the mining company closed down the town for a few reasons, according to Visit Svalbard. The price of coal was falling, removing coal from the mountain was costly and difficult, and two years prior, an airplane crash killed 141 residents, devastating the community.
- Due to Arctic temperatures, Pyramiden experiences “a very slow rate of decay,” according to Popular Mechanics.
- While some parts of Pyramiden feel apocalyptic, the town isn’t entirely empty. According to Visit Svalbard, Pyramiden is home to eight residents who maintain the facilities and take visitors on guided tours.
- Though the pandemic put a halt to tourism, the 43-room Pyramiden Hotel is now open to visitors from the Norwegian mainland who can present a negative COVID-19 test, a representative for Arctic Travel Company Grumant told Insider. Rates start at $215 per night.