Positioned at the horizon on the edge of town, their distant smokestacks belch black threads into the pale arctic sky.
Resourceful locals have built themselves these large tank-like vehicles, known as Karakaty, that enable them to move through the thick, snow-clogged tundra. The city is full of old folk, too tired to leave and with no other options anyway. Vorkuta was discovered during an expedition by Russian geologist Georgy Chernov in the early 20th century. Surrounded by abandoned mines and filled with derelict apartment blocks, the city – which is the coldest place on the continent (clocking in a record -52 degrees C) – is in steep decline. And that’s where the people still live. Omissions? 79,205. Corrections? In 1971, the Soviet U, Teufelsberg, Berlin. Then the iron curtain fell. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. However, what was once the lifeblood of Vorkuta has now disappeared. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Some, such as Yurshor and Rudnik are worthy of a visit. To this day, whole apartments still contain the rotting furniture of the last inhabitants to live there, decades ago. Today, Vorkuta’s population continues to decline every year. At its height, the complex had 20 mines, roads, and railroads, power stations, and a small community of mining towns.
This article was most recently revised and updated by, CRW Flags - Flag of Vorkuta City, Komi, Russia. Initially the coal exploitation used penal labour. The town w, Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, Scotland.
This man-made hill is made of. The population plummeted from 217,000 in the late 1980s to less than 50,000 today. The area subsequently became the site of some of Stalin’s forced-labour camps for political prisoners, most of whom perished there from the harsh climate. Self-made cars are another strange, yet common sight on the streets of Vorkuta. Vorkuta, city, Komi republic, northwestern Russia, on the Vorkuta River. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. So much so, in the 1980s Vorkuta could boast of being one of the richest northern cities in the USSR. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Once Stalin was aware of the vast wealth waiting to be mined there, the region became vital in his efforts to industrialize Russia. The dwindling community makes a living through reindeer herding. This extends winters well into May and hinders the characteristic interior Russian summer warmth from reaching the city but for rare instances. (2006 est.) The desolation is almost poetic, only if you are lucky enough to not live there. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Vorkutlag was the largest camp in European Russia. The lack of infrastructure means that many turn to fishing and hunting to sustain themselves. These cookies do not store any personal information. The area subsequently became the site of some of Stalin’s Decaying Soviet block housing is blanketed in heavy snow for most of the year. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login).
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