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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Lon­gye­ar­by­en mining histo­ry – 11th April 2016

Lon­gye­ar­by­en mining histo­ry – 11th April 2016

Lon­gye­ar­by­en has been a coal mining sett­le­ment sin­ce it was foun­ded by the Ame­ri­can John Mun­ro Lon­gye­ar in 1906. In 1916, Lon­gye­ar sold the place to the Nor­we­gi­an Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kul­kom­pa­ni which soon cal­led their mining vil­la­ge Lon­gye­ar­by­en. The mea­ning is the same as the ori­gi­nal name, just the lan­guage has chan­ged.

Exact­ly 100 years later, Store Nor­ske is just a shadow of its­elf. After some good years, it was a nar­row escape from bankrupt­cy. Mining has a lot of histo­ry in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, but not much of a future.

We had a good look of some of this histo­ry. Tauba­ne­sen­tra­le (cable­car main sta­ti­on) is occu­p­y­ing the hig­hest part of Lon­gye­ar­by­en, towe­ring abo­ve the vil­la­ge like the town’s land­mark. Some years ago, Store Nor­ske plan­ned to move their head­quar­ters in the­re. Not­hing came out of this. Con­certs are held the­re every now and then, may­be it will be a muse­um in the future.

Mine 3 is alrea­dy a muse­um. Has not been one for long, it was clo­sed to visi­tors in 2009. Last year it was ope­ned for gui­ded excur­si­ons again, cur­r­ent­ly the only chan­ce for tou­rists to see a mine from the insi­de. Not below ground, the mine pro­per still needs to be secu­red pro­per­ly. But they want to get this done soon.

Gal­le­ry – Lon­gye­ar­by­en mining histo­ry – 11th April 2016

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

The lar­ge cra­ne, local­ly known as Titan cra­ne after the manu­fac­tu­rer, was used for ship­ping coal. Now it is just a remin­der of old and qui­te dif­fe­rent times.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2016-08-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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