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Norilsk (Russian: Нори́льск nah-REEL'SK) is a large city in Taymyria. Because of its strategic importance for nickel ore processing, Norilsk is a closed city and special permission (except for Russian and Belarussian nationals) is needed for travel, which will likely be denied unless you have a really good reason. Norilsk is the second largest city above the Arctic Circle; Murmansk is the largest. With a permanent population of 175,000, it is also the northernmost city with a population over 100,000 inhabitants.

The barren landscape void of vegetation, abundance of Soviet era concrete tenements, and high pollution often earn Norilsk the questionable reputation of most depressing city on the planet.

UnderstandEdit

Norilsk was founded because of this message the existence of a rich deposit of non-ferrous metals including nickel, cobalt, copper, platinum, and palladium. Founded before World War II, Norilsk and its mines and industrial plants, as well as a railway connecting the city with the port of Dudinka, were built with a large-scale use of convict labor from gulag prisoners.

Norilsk Nickel is the largest producer of non-ferrous metals in the world, accounting for 38% of worldwide production of palladium and 22% of worldwide production of nickel, a key ingredient in stainless steel. Some of the locally mined ore is smelted into metals at the local refinery. More ore, after some enrichment, is shipped by rail to Dudinka; from there it is sent by icebreaker-led ships to Murmansk, and eventually to the copper and nicker refinery at Monchegorsk, whose own ore has long been exhausted.

As a result of the smelters, Norilsk is the most polluted city in Russia and is one of the most polluted cities in the world, usually covered in chemical smog. The life expectancy in Norilsk is one of the lowest in Russia and its cancer rates are one of the highest.

The yearly average temperature is in Norilsk is −9.8°C and temperatures usually hover around −40°C in the winter.

Most inhabitants of the city were transplants as a result of the high salaries and abundant opportunities offered by the mining industry.

ClimateEdit

Norilsk
Climate chart (explanation)
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
18
 
 
−24
−31
 
 
 
16
 
 
−24
−31
 
 
 
28
 
 
−18
−26
 
 
 
21
 
 
−10
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24
 
 
−2
−8
 
 
 
34
 
 
10
3
 
 
 
32
 
 
18
10
 
 
 
52
 
 
15
8
 
 
 
26
 
 
7
1
 
 
 
36
 
 
−7
−13
 
 
 
31
 
 
−17
−24
 
 
 
22
 
 
−22
−29
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
More on Norilsk's climate at WeatherBase
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
 
0.7
 
 
−11
−24
 
 
 
0.6
 
 
−11
−24
 
 
 
1.1
 
 
0
−15
 
 
 
0.8
 
 
14
−2
 
 
 
0.9
 
 
28
18
 
 
 
1.3
 
 
50
37
 
 
 
1.3
 
 
64
50
 
 
 
2
 
 
59
46
 
 
 
1
 
 
45
34
 
 
 
1.4
 
 
19
9
 
 
 
1.2
 
 
1
−11
 
 
 
0.9
 
 
−8
−20
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
 
Huge amounts of snow accumulate during winter

Unsurprisingly for a city above the Arctic Circle, temperatures in Norilsk are sub zero from October to May, with drops below -40° common at night during winter months. Travellers should be preparing for the coldest weather conditions when travelling to Norisk or face severe risk of hypothermia. The high temperature differences between day and night, make it easy to fall ill. Temperatures may vary as much as 70° between winter and summer!

Norilsk's climate is relatively dry, but any snow falling in winter is likely to be around until spring, usually resulting in huge amounts accumulating over the winter months. Streets are usually cleared, but suitable footwear is nonetheless essential.

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

By busEdit

Buses operate from the nearby port-city of Dudinka. From Dudinka, boats offer service to/from Krasnoyarsk in the summer months, but the journey takes 3½ days northbound and 5½ days southbound.

Get aroundEdit

Buses are plentiful and go everywhere as a result of the harsh winter climate. Taxis are reasonably priced.

SeeEdit

 
First house in Norilsk, now part of the local history museum.

Norilsk has several grand buildings in the center; however, it mostly consists of drab commieblocks. Surrounding the city are vast areas of decaying industrial sites which are both depressing and fascinating at the same time.

  • 1 Norilsk Museum (Музей истории освоения и развития НПР), Leninsky Prospect, 14, +7 3919 -460646, . Local history museum, main piece being the first cottage built in what were to be Norilsk by an geological expedition in 1921. Entrance fee 10 руб.
  • 2 Nurdi Kamal Mosque, ул. 50 лет Октября, 2а, +7 391 942-11-49. The world's northernmost mosque, opened in 2000, and catering to the local Tatar community. Free.    

DoEdit

 
The Norilsk Polar Drama Theater building
  • 1 Norilsk Polar Drama Theatre (Норильский Заполярный театр), Leninskiy prospekt, 34. The world's northernmost theatre, opened in 1941 and manned by prisoners during its first years. The theatre hosts a wide array of cultural events.

BuyEdit

EatEdit

DrinkEdit

  • 1 Club Art Hall, ul. Ordzhonikidze, 3. The major venue in town for the young dance crowd craving dubstep and other assortment of great - and loud - dance music. Mexanika-nights, usually held once a month is where you'll find the biggest crowd.
  • 2 Sport-Bar Overtime (Спорт-бар Overtime), ul. Vokzalnaya, 2A, +7 3919 43-55-75. Popular sport bar, located outside city centre.

SleepEdit

  • 1 Hotel Polar Star (Гостиничный Полярная звезда), Leninsky prospect 2, +7 3919 252800. Opened in 2002 after a redevelopment of the building that was built in 1945. Includes a restaurant, a bar, and a gym. Wi-Fi.

ConnectEdit

Since the completion of a fiber data link along the Yenisei River towards Krasnoyarsk in 2017, high speed internet is widely available throughout the city.

Stay safeEdit

The major dangers in the city are the pollution and the cold.

Go nextEdit

 
Barren landscape near Norilsk
  • Putorana Plateau is a huge high-lying basalt plateau 150 km to the south-east of Norilsk. It has beautiful scenery and includes the Talnikovy Waterfall, the largest waterfall in Asia. However, there are no inhabitants of the area and it is extremely remote.
This city travel guide to Norilsk is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.