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Longyearbyen Photos

From: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Svalbard


Since the mid-1970s, when the Longyearbyen airport opened and year-round mail service began, the town has grown from a mining settlement into a municipality with some 1,900 residents. About 100 people move into Longyearbyen each year. The population mixture has also changed, and today the town has many families instead of miners living in barracks. This has brought increased demand for housing, such as the modern homes shown above.

photoLongyearbyen's building code requires that houses be painted in colors that complement the earth tones of the tundra. Dark red is probably the most frequently-seen shade of pigment in Longyearbyen (see inset photo), but the color palette of newer houses adds variety and beauty to the Arctic townscape.

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Longyearbyen tourist information:
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