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Take a Tour of a Soviet-Era Ghost Town at the Edge of the World

Located just 800 miles from the North Pole on the island of Spitsbergen, the Soviet-era ghost town of Pyramiden is one of the northernmost permanent settlements in the world. The site was first developed as a mining village in 1936, after the Soviets acquired the rights to mine the local coalfields. Although Pyramiden was abandoned in 1998, it remains remarkably well preserved due to the frigid Arctic climate.

Today only six people permanently reside in the former communist outpost. Working as Pyramiden’s resident tour guide, Aleksandr Romanovsky is one of those few inhabitants. Better known as “Sasha from Pyramiden,” Romanovsky gives tours of the frozen Soviet time capsule to curious tourists. In this short film from filmmaker David Beazley, visit the Arctic ruins of the Soviet era as Romanovsky reflects on his solitary life at the edge of the world.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email sfs@natgeo.com. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.