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The Town Where No one is Allowed to Die

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Longyearbyen,  Norway
The Arctic town of Longyearbyen in the Svalbard Islands of Norway has a similar rule. Death is forbidden, and the town has only a small graveyard that stopped accepting new burials over 70 years ago. The reason – the bodies never decompose. It was discovered that the bodies buried in Longyearbyen were actually perfectly preserved by permafrost. Scientists even removed tissue from a man who died there and found intact traces of the influenza virus that he died from during the epidemic in 1917.
Longyearbyen,  Norway
People who are gravely ill or expected to die soon are dispatched by air or ship to a different part of Norway, where they would spend the last days of their lives.


Longyearbyen,  Norway
Colorful Wooden Houses of Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen,  Norway
 The center of town lies near the coast on the east side of the river, with the district of Skjæringa across the river, the district of Nybyen 2 km to the south and the airport 3 km to the west.
Longyearbyen,  Norway
There is no public transportation aside from the airport shuttle bus. Walking is a viable option, although rather tedious if you need to move around outside the center, especially when the weather is bad.
Longyearbyen,  Norway
Transport from Longyearbyen to Barentsburg and Pyramiden is possible by snowmobile by winter, or by ship all year round.
Longyearbyen,  Norway
Snowmobiles in Longyearbyen



Longyearbyen,  Norway
"Winter is so nice, you have all these things you want to do"


Longyearbyen,  Norway


Longyearbyen,  Norway
The Church in Longyearbyen




Longyearbyen,  Norway
Coal had always been mined and gathered by whalers and hunters, but industrial mining did not start until 1899. Søren Zachariassen of Tromsø was the first to establish a mining company to exploit Svalbard minerals.


Longyearbyen,  Norway
Longyearbyen, dark and mysterious night


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