Sunday, 25 March 2018

A little history.

Ny-Alesund was originally founded as a mining town in 1917, but became famous as the departure point for heading to the North Pole. On the 11th of May 1926 the airship Norge left Ny-Alesund and became the first undisputed trip to reach the North Pole the following day. Roald Amundsen of South Pole fame led the expedition, with the airship designed and piloted by Umberto Nobile.  The airship mast is still standing:

And this is where Amundsen stayed - in a villa named after him

There is of course a statue of the man himself.

The last mining activity terminated in 1962 and the village gradually morphed into a scientific research station which now has 10 different nationalities renting buildings off the Kings Bay Company (effectively the Norwegian government). Although the buildings all look similar, each nation does manage to put their own stamp on their place. Here is the Chinese building.

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