Murmansk is a city in northwest Russia, the capital of Murmansk oblast. Murmansk stretches over 20 km along the rocky eastern coast of the Kola Bay, 50 km from the open sea (the Barents Sea). It is located about 1850 km north of Moscow and 1330 km north of St. Petersburg.
Murmansk is the largest city in the world located above the Arctic Circle, one of the largest sea ports in Russia.
Murmansk population is about 305,000 (2015), the land area - 154 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 8152; the postal codes - 183000-183099.
The first plans for the construction of the port city in the Arctic Circle appeared in the Russian Empire in the 1870-ies. In 1915, during the First World War, on the eastern shore of the Kola Bay of the Barents Sea, Murmansk sea port and Semenovskaya village were founded. The main reason was to establish the North Atlantic supply route to the Russian Empire.
The official year of foundation of the town is 1916. It was named Romanov-on-Murman in honor of the Romanov dynasty and after the Pomor people’s name for the Barents Sea (Murman). Romanov-on-Murman was the last town founded in the Russian Empire. In 1917, after the February Revolution, the city received its current name - Murmansk.
More Historical Facts…
By the early 1920ies, Murmansk had less than two thousand residents and was in decline. Since the second half of the 1920ies, the town began to develop rapidly, because the Soviet Union needed a large port, which would not depend on relations with neighboring countries. Since 1933, Murmansk was one of the supply and repair bases of the Soviet Northern Fleet. In 1938, the city became the capital of the Murmansk region.
Murmansk again played an important role as a Russian trade link with the Allies during the Second World War II. Various supplies were brought to the city with the help of the Arctic convoys. Murmansk was heavily damaged during the war. It was restored in the beginning of the 1950ies.
Significant expansion of the territory of Murmansk happened in the 1970ies - early 1980ies. In 2016, Murmansk will celebrate 100th anniversary
Murmansk sea port is one of the largest ice-free ports in Russia. It is the port of registration of the barque “Sedov”, the largest sailing vessel in the world. All Russian nuclear icebreakers are also registered in this sea port. The port is the basis of the economy of Murmansk. The Northern Sea Route starts here.
The port is ice-free during the year due to the warm Gulf Stream waters. Severomorsk, a satellite city of Murmansk, is an important Russian Navy base.
Murmansk is located in the Atlantic-Arctic zone of temperate climate. The local climate is formed by the proximity of the Barents Sea, which enhances the effect of the warm North Atlantic Current. The average temperature in January is minus 9.2 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 13.8 degrees Celsius.
The city has a relatively well developed network of hotels. The largest hotels are: “Azimut”, “Arctic”, “Meridian”, “Park Inn Poliarnie Zori”, “Moryak”, “Ogni Murmanska”, “69 parallel”, “Morskaya”.
The main industries of Murmansk are as follows: fishing and fish-processing, sea transportation, ship-repairing, sea-, railway- and automobile freight, metal-working, offshore geological prospecting.
Murmansk is located on the federal highway “Kola” (M18, St-Petersburg - Norway). The city is also the beginning of the road A138 to Norway and P12 to Finland. “Murmansk” airport is located about 24 km from the city. Daily flights to Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as flights to Arkhangelsk and Kaliningrad are available.
The memorial to sailors who died in peacetime in Murmansk
World War II memorial in Murmansk
Murmansk places of interest
Despite its young age, there are a lot of places of interest in Murmansk. In three districts of the city there are over thirty monuments and memorial boards. Two memorial complexes are the most interesting: Murmansk Alyosha - the monument to the defenders of the Soviet Arctic and the memorial to sailors who died in peacetime. Murmansk Alyosha is one of the largest statues in Russia.
The largest number of attractions are concentrated in the October district, on Pyat Uglov (Five Corners) Square and Lenina Avenue. The tallest building in Murmansk (an 18-storey building of the hotel “Arctic”) as well as the first monument in Murmansk (the monument to the victims of foreign intervention) can be found here.
The heart of the Leninsky district is Semyonovskoe Lake with a fountain in its center. Murmansk oceanarium, the most northerly in the world, stands on the shore of the lake.
Recently built bridges across the Kola Bay and Church of the Savior on the waters are among the unique sights of the city.
Museums and Theaters…
- Murmansk Regional Museum of Local Lore (Lenina Avenue, 90),
- Murmansk Regional Art Museum located in one of the oldest stone buildings of the city (Kominterna Street, 13),
- Naval Museum of the Northern Fleet (Tortseva Street, 15),
- Museum of Arctic exploration, located aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker “Lenin” (Portovyy pr-d, 25, Pontoon berth of Murmansk Marine Station).
- Murmansk Puppet Theater, opened in 1933, is the oldest theater in the city (Sofyi Perovskoy, 21a),
- Murmansk Regional Drama Theater, founded in 1939, is the largest theater (Lenina Avenue, 49),
- The Northern Fleet Drama Theater, founded in 1936, was moved to Murmansk from Polyarny in 1946 (Kolskiy Avenue, 186),
- Murmansk Philharmonic (Sofyi Perovskoy Street, 3).