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Russian authorities started talking about building a seaport beyond the Arctic Circle in seventies of the 19th century. First surveyors arrived to the future site of Murmansk in 1912. Official birth date of the town is October 4, 1916.

Before new houses and wooden berths were built, the territory in the Kola bay belonged to the old coast-dweller Semen Korzhnev, whose name remained in history in names of the haven, the lake and the sandbank.

The town was founded, when the seaport appeared in the Kola bay, and the rail road, connecting it with other settlements. The towns first name was Romanov-on-Murman, but it changed, when Russian monarchy was destroyed in 1917. In 1921 the town became the centre of Murmanskaya Gubernia (District), and since that moment Murmansks administrative power started growing.

During the Great Patriotic war (World War II) the seaport of Murmansk received freights from allied countries provision of the country and the army. These were hard times for Murmansk the town was nearly destroyed by bomb attacks. The only buildings that remained intact were the port and three houses, one of which now hosts Murmansk Polytechnic Lyceum.

In January 1942 Murmansk sent the train to Leningrad, which was in blockade the train carried food cod liver oil, for instance, to help starving citizens of the heroic city. That food train wasnt the only one Murmansk citizens sent more trains with fish to help people in blockade.

The city of Murmansk stretches for 21 kilometer along the Kola bay. The town is quite long, though narrow, surrounded by water and forests. The town stands on hills, which adds some originality to those, who want to walk around. One can enter a building, climb it to the fourth floor, for instance, walk along the corridor and find himself on the first floor of another building. Murmansk is also famous for its local history museum, telling the story of surrounding lands and people, who used to live here.

The city grew significantly in late seventies early eighties of the previous century, and that is why most common buildings in Murmansk are nine-storey bearing-wall structures. Gems of Soviet architecture can be found only in the centre of the city, as well as rare buildings of distant prewar days and postwar wooden houses. You will never see a building, which has more than sixteen floors permafrost and severe climate make such tall structures too unstable. This is the reason why sixteen-storey hotel Arctica became a sightseeing attraction. Most common colours for this part of Russia are white and black, but Murmansk citizens invented a method to fight colour deficiency and 8-month-long winter buildings are often covered with multicolored mosaics, and streets are decorated with various painted stones.

Murmansk consists of three districts Pervomaisky, Oktyabrsky and Leninsky. Pervomaisky district is the youngest and southernmost part of the city it lacks industrial zones and is perfect for living.




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  (Murmansk Region)

Cities of the region



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