Svalbard Museum and Longyearbyen

Today I’ll be taking you on a video and photographic tour of the Svalbard Museum and Longyearbyen. Welcome to “Art, Culture & Books” with me Anthony King.

Svalbard, previously known as Spitsbergen is a Norwegian archipelago situated in the Arctic Ocean. Its capital is Longyearbyen, positioned on the west coast of the main island.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, whalers navigating the far north utilized these islands as a base. Subsequently, the archipelago faced abandonment. Coal mining commenced in the early 20th century, leading to the establishment of permanent communities like Pyramiden and Barentsburg. The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 acknowledges Norwegian sovereignty, while the Norwegian Svalbard Act of 1925 formally integrates Svalbard into the Kingdom of Norway. This treaty designates Svalbard as both a free economic zone and a demilitarized zone. About 60% of the archipelago is enveloped by glaciers.

Although Svalbard has been part of the Kingdom of Norway since 1925, it is not geographically within Norway. Administratively, the archipelago is not affiliated with any Norwegian county; instead, it constitutes an unincorporated area.

Svalbard is a magical dark place. I strongly recommend that you spend 2 days up here because you’ll never forget it. There’s nowhere else on earth like this, I assure you. It’s easier to get to than you might think via Oslo. It’s a strange and fascinating place. If you want to know more you can read my “The Secret Norwegian” four-book series where we go into much detail about what goes on in the incredible and unique, Svalbard.

By Anthony King (c)