Population ~30 thousand. Hills, lakes, rivers. 120km north-east from Kandalaksha, very near to Apatity, a partdise for seekers of industrial antiutopia.

Wheat as the symbol of Kirovsk does not mean it grows here. Apatite is mined and processed into phosphate fertilizers in Kirovsk, fertilizers in turn make things grow, thus the emblem of Kirovsk.

The city is named after Kirov, a Bolshevik leader assassinated in 1934, thus all these Kirovsks, Kirovs, Kirovograds etc. The system of suffixes allows extensive recycling of a small number of words. Each Russian city will have at least one Ulitsa Kirova. In Kandalaksha we live on Kirovskaya. Unavoidable. This region was industrialized in the late 30s, during the Kirov-naming mania. Still, Kirovsk itself looks and feels quite civilized and cultured.

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V. Yerofeyev, Moscow to the End of the Line

Venedict Yerofeyev was born here, in the Niva-2 district of Kandalaksha, and spent a good chunk of his childhood in Kirovsk. There is his museum in Moscow and it is open even though its site returns “503 Service Temporarily Unavailable” as of April 1 2015. As of the moment I’m looking for an English translation, ideally online, of his Moscow to Petushki, or Moscow to the End of the Line in English. So far I’ve found the film version by Pawel Pawlikowski, with English subtitles.

Snow Village

sw_4By Alexandra

Snow and ice village near the City of Kirovsk, north-east from Kandalaksha. Open from December to May. Tours, sledding and snowmobiling, children’s programs and even weddings.

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The Dyatlov Pass

The Dyatlov Pass Incident was filmed in Kirovsk.

See other posts tagged with Filming locations >>

Three days of reindeer and snowmobile

kolekspA three-day tour, organized by Kola Expedition, to the reindeer herders.

Distance travelled: 420 km. Group: 6-12 people.

Also lots of other fun winter and summer programs, but the description is in Russian only. See their blog and website.

Snow village in Kirovsk again

Jan 5 2014 video >>

Snow village official site >>

Open 11am to 9pm daily till end of April.

Entrance fee 600 roubles ($20) for adults, 300 ($10US) for children, children under 7 free, 300 roubles ($10) to the retired and those over 50.

See other Kirovsk posts >>

Artists from Apatity

By Alexandra


Your %##!*!! job is to promote Kandalaksha and the Kola Peninsula. Express your attitude elsewhere.

Would be travellers –

Here is something positive to offset the torrent of ugliness from our in-house killjoy old grouch Uncle Pasha. I want to introduce you to two artists who will show you the other North, joyful and cheerful. Both are based in Apatity, about halfway between Kandalaksha and Murmansk.

Above: Anna Mikhailova, who shares her time between St. Petersburg and Hibiny.

Below: Irina Sitdikova from Apatity, a fun city that Pasha very unjustly placed on his “Russian Misery Tourism” honour list.

Here are some of their works:
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An exhibition of areal photos of the Kola Peninsula


Opened yesterday at the Niva movie theatre in Kandalaksha, and expected to stay on well into 2017.

The author is the famous Boris Vakhmistrov, an avalanche expert from Kirovsk.

In his free time he flies around the Kola Peninsula on a deltaplane taking photos, and is one of the recognized photography masters here. 

vakhmistrov more >>

Kola Expeditions is getting ready to receive English-speaking travellers

They ordered me to translate their site into English, and immediately uploaded these translations to Last March we ourselves took part in one of their 3-4 hour tours, were impressed, and can recommend Kola Expeditions to travellers looking for the “local spirit”.


The average cost of one square meter of housing in the Murmansk region

Location Roubles/m2 In $US at the current exchange rate of 62 roubles per $1US
Murmansk 37202 Just over $500/m2
Kola 37052 just over $500/m2
Apatity 21700 $350/m2
Kirovsk 21715 $350/m2
Monchegorsk 15000 just under $250/m2
Olenegorsk 17100 just under $400/m2
Severomorsk 35500 slightly over $500/m2
Revda 10609 $160/m2
Polarnye Zori 30000 under $500/m2
Molochny 35750 over $500/m2
Pushnoy 7895 slightly over $100/m2
Murmashi 31025 $500/m2


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