Coordinates: 78°13′N 15°39′E / 78.22°N 15.65°E / 78.22; 15.65

Longyearbyen (lit. Longyear Town) is the largest settlement and the administrative centre of Svalbard, Norway. As of 2013, the town had a population of 2,075. Longyearbyen is located in the Longyear Valley and on the shore of Adventfjorden, a bay of Isfjorden located on the west coast of Spitsbergen. Since 2002, Longyearbyen Community Council has had many of the same responsibilities of a municipality, including utilities, education, cultural facilities, fire brigade, roads and ports. The town is the seat of the Governor of Svalbard. It is the world's northernmost settlement of any kind with greater than 1,000 permanent residents.

Known as Longyear City until 1926, the town was established by and named after John Munro Longyear, whose Arctic Coal Company started coal mining operations in 1906. Operations were taken over by Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani (SNSK) in 1916, which still conducts mining. The town was almost completely destroyed by the German Kriegsmarine on 8 August 1943, but was rebuilt after the Second World War. Traditionally, Longyearbyen was a company town, but most mining operations have moved to Sveagruva since the 1990s, while the town has seen a large increase in tourism and research. This has seen the arrival of institutions such as the University Centre in Svalbard, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and Svalbard Satellite Station. The community is served by Svalbard Airport, Longyear and Svalbard Church.

Latest News for: Longyearbyen


Svalbard: The World’s Northernmost Airport With Scheduled Flights

Simple Flying 13 Jan 2022
Far up north, nestled between the polar night and the midnight sun sits the single runway of Svalbard Airport, Longyear ... Photo ... The world’s northernmost settlement with a population of over 1,000 people is Longyearbyen (2,368 to be exact) ... As with many other airfields, the first one close at Longyearbyen was constructed during World War II ... .......

Brewing Beer At The Top Of The World In Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Forbes 04 Dec 2021
In recent years, the world’s northernmost craft brewery has become an unintended tourist attraction. Svalbard Bryggeri supplies every bar and restaurant in Longyearbyen ... ....

This Fjord Shows Even Small Populations Create Giant Microfiber Pollution

New York Times 28 Sep 2021
Researchers found that one tiny Arctic village’s unfiltered sewage produces as much microplastic as the treated waste of more than a million people ... ....

Is it really illegal to die in Longyearbyen, Norway?

Norway Today 27 Oct 2020
Longyearbyen has some out-of-the-ordinary rules about ......
photo: AP / Martin Meissner
The little polar bear baby Nanook makes the first steps with her mother outside their cave at the compound at the zoo in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Friday, April 13, 2018.

Man killed by polar bear on Norway’s Arctic Svalbard islands

AOL 28 Aug 2020
The man was rushed to the hospital in Longyearbyen where he was declared dead by doctors, deputy governor Soelvi Elvedah said. Longyearbyen is the main settlement in Norway's Arctic Svalbard archipelago, which sits more than 500 miles north of the Norwegian mainland ... Longyearbyen ... Longyearbyen. Polar bear sign in Longyearbyen....
photo: AP / David Keyton
A view of the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway

Arctic 'doomsday vault' stocks up on 60,000 more food seeds

Deccan Herald 26 Feb 2020
Mounting concern over climate change and species loss are driving groups worldwide to add their seeds to the collection inside a mountain near Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen Island in Norway's Svalbard archipelago, about 1,300 kilometres (about 800 miles) from the North Pole....

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