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Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Norway Overview

Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Svalbard, is located in the lower portion of the valley of Longyeardalen, along the river of Longyearelva. The lower parts of the town lie along the southwestern shore of the bay of Adventfjorden, a 7 by 4 kilometers (4.3 by 2.5 mi) branch of Isfjorden.Longyearbyen is on the Nordenskiöld Land peninsula of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago.It is the world’s northern-most town, with all settlements further north being research or meteorological outposts.Across the bay lie the ghost towns of Advent City and Hiorthhamn.

Longyearbyen is divided into several neighborhoods. On the west side of the river, along the bay, lies the port and affiliated utility and industrial services. The western part of this area is called Bykaia and the eastern part Sjøområdet. Above lies Skjæringa, the site of the Governor’s offices. Slightly up the valley on the west side lies Gamle Longyearbyen and the church. Even further up lies the graveyard, then Huset and the cinema, and finally Sverdrupbyen. Most of the residential, commercial and cultural institutions are located on the east side of the river. Along the bay the area is called Sjøskrenten. Further up lies the university center and Gruvedalen, the largest residential area. Southwards from there is the main shopping area as well as the town hall. To the east is the residential area Lia and further up Haugen, which is also the location of the school. Furthest up in the valley is Mine 2b and Nybyen, which is mostly used as student housing. Westwards out of town towards Hotellneset is the airport and Mine 3. The remaining mines are located in Adventdalen, to the east of town.

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Detailed Map of Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Norway

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Svalbard’s climate is a combination of an Arctic climate tempered by the North Atlantic Current.