The Verman line fighting exhibition


The Kandalaksha History Museum houses an exhibition by the Murmansk museum on events along the Verman river east off Alakurtti in 1941-1944. Rare photos and documents, stories of tank attacks, actions by recognaissance units promise to be presented at the exhibition. The exhibition starts tomorrow and lasts till Nov. 16.


The Dacha Phenomenon. A close encounter.

A hobby, a survival tool, a defining feature of the local lifestyle from early Brezhnev days till very recent times – that’s the niche occupied by dacha. In my mind however dacha was always associated with a climate more moderate than what we have here on Kola. On Friday we were treated to a trip to one 20km south from Kandalaksha, which was our first exposure to the local northern incarnation of the concept. A big surprise of how much of everything can grow on less than 600 sq. meters minus the house here, above the 66 degree latitude. Below are a few photos showing how much can grow above the arctic circle, on the grounds reclaimed from a sand pit:

That’s how it started. Back in 1968 railroad workers were given free plots of land in a sandpit. Soil was stolen from the field of the nearby collective farm.

And that how it looks now: more >>

“History of the Murmansk Railroad”

railroad-murmanskThe Murmansk Regional History Museum is coming to Kandalaksha with a display of about 50 photos, mostly old black-and-white, describing the history of the Petrozavodsk to Murmansk railroad from the beginning of its construction in 1915 to the present day. The exhibition will be held in the Kandalaksha Museum (ulitsa Pervomayskaya 40) from July 11 to August 10 2015.

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Victory Day parade in Kandalaksha

The event was subdued enough not to offend my taste. Nothing smacking of pompous Moscow-style parade.

A Sunday trip to the city dump


Entrance to the dump grounds. The entrance fee is 100 roubles ($1.60 at current rate).

The dump starts with a residential area:

For fans of military history. Route options that do not require permits.

Military history fans are usually drawn to the Rybachy and Sredny peninsulas, and to the island of Kil’din. These places saw intense fighting during WW2. Remnants of fortifications, guns, shells and other artifacts are still abundant.

1Visiting these places for foreign travellers, however, involves considerable difficulties. Rybachy, Sredny, and Kil’din are among pre-border territories, and a foreign citizen needs a permit from FSB to get there. The procedure involves writing a detailed application that takes no less than two months to consider and can be turned down without even an explanation. Attempting to visit these places without a permit may result in a fine and loss of visa, if not an accusation of spying, with all the ugly consequences.

At the moment we are looking into alternative routes on the Kola Peninsula that do not require special permits for fans of military history. more >>

Lenin and spring in Kandalaksha

1Earlier a monument to Stalin was standing in Kandalaksha too. Then Stalin was demolished but Lenin still stands. Not for nothing Lenin is named “ever-living” in Russia.. more >>

Charming old photos of Kandalaksha

Selected by Alexandra from and All photos can be clicked to a bigger size. Some locations are still clearly recognizeable.


Train station square. The overpass is still there.

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Another book: Nature and Natural Resources of the Murmansk Region

natural-resources-of-murmanskAbout 500 photos from 30 Murmansk region photographers. Photos from hard-to-access places on the shores of White and Barents sea, along the Ponoy River, on the Rybachy Peninsula etc. Photos of unique natural phenomena (aurora borealis and others), rare plants and animals, mineralogical monuments, culturalnd historic sites (labyrinths, Saami seids, stone carvings of Kanozero and paintings of the Rybachy Peninsula), and also photos of the Kola Peninsula from space.


natural-resources-of-murmansk-2The text was written by the members of the Kola Center of Nature Preservation. Well-known scientists and regional history experts acted as consultants in the course of developing the text.

Extensive illustrated material does not simply describe natural objects but helps in understanding northern ecosystems. The book shows just how succeptible to human influence northern nature is, calling to reader’s attention to the significance of many phenomena often left unnoticed.

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