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Norilsk the city of ice, wind and polar nights

Norilsk (Russian: Норильск, IPA: [nɐˈrʲilʲsk]) is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located between the Yenisei River and the Taymyr Peninsula. Population: 175,365 (2010 Census); 134,832 (2002 Census); 174,673 (1989 Census). Norilsk is the world’s northernmost city with more than 100,000 inhabitants and the second largest city (after Murmansk) inside the Arctic Circle. Norilsk, Yakutsk, and Vorkuta are the only large cities in the continuous permafrost zone.

It lies between Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District to the north, and Turukhansky District to the south. via(source)

Norilsk was founded at the end of the 1920s, but the official date of founding is traditionally 1935, when Norilsk was expanded as a settlement for the Norilsk mining-metallurgic complex and became the center of the Norillag system of GULAG labor camps. It was granted urban-type settlement status in 1939 and town status in 1953.

Norilsk is located between the West Siberian Plain and Central Siberian Plateau at the foot of the 1,700-meter (5,600 ft) high Putoran Mountains, on some of the largest nickel deposits on Earth. Consequently, mining and smelting ore are the major industries. Norilsk is the center of a region where nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum, palladium, and coal are mined. Mineral deposits in the Siberian Craton had been known for two centuries before Norilsk was founded, but mining began only in 1939, when the buried portions of the Norilsk-Talnakh intrusions were found beneath mountainous terrain.

Talnakh is the major mine/enrichment site now from where an enriched ore emulsion is pumped to Norilsk metallurgy plants.

To support the new city a railway to the port of Dudinka on the Yenisei River was established, first as a narrow-gauge line (winter 1935–36), later as Russian standard gauge (1520 mm) line (in the early 1940s).[8] From Dudinka enriched nickel and copper are transported to Murmansk by sea then to the Monchegorsk enrichment and smelting plant on the Kola Peninsula, while more precious content goes up the river to Krasnoyarsk. This transportation only takes place during the summer:[citation needed] Dudinka port is closed and dismantled during spring’s ice barrier floods of up to 20 meters (66 ft) in late May (a typical spring occurrence on all Siberian rivers).

In the early 1950s, another railway was under construction from the European coal city Vorkuta via the Salekhard/Ob River, and Norilsk got a spacious railway station built in the expectation of train service to Moscow, but construction stopped after Stalin died.

According to the archives of Norillag, 16,806 prisoners died in Norilsk under the conditions of forced labor, starvation, and intense cold during the existence of the camp (1935–1956). Fatalities were especially high during the war years of 1942–1944 when food supplies were particularly scarce. Prisoners organised the nonviolent Norilsk uprising in 1953. Unknown but significant numbers of prisoners continued to serve and die in the mines until around 1979. Norilsk-Talknakh continues to be a dangerous mine to work in: according to the mining company, there were 2.4 accidents per thousand workers in 2005.

The mosque of Norilsk, belonging to the local Tatar community, is considered to be the northernmost Muslim prayer house in the world.

 

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