Obdorsk burg

Salekhard the capital of Yamal

Museum of local lore

Museum of aviation





Salekhard the capital of Yamal

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"   ,     -      ".  .  . .In 1930 the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee adopted a resolution On organization of national associations in the areas of Northern national minorities settling. Among eight new national okrugs of RSFSR Yamal (Nenets) okrug with the capital in Obdorsk settlement was founded within Ural region. In 1933 Obdorsk settlement was renamed into Salekhard settlement (from Nenets Sale-Kharn meaning settlement on the cape). In 1938 the centre of the okrug obtained status of a town.

In the after-war years traditional branches of economy including fishing, hunting and deer raising were developed. Apart from these branches plant cultivation appeared: potatoes, vegetables and root crops were grown in polar areas. At the same time large industrial enterprises were developed in town. Fish plant, dairy and woodworking plant were set up. Irtysh Navigation Office opened an operation sector in Salekhard. River transport workers delivered construction materials and foodstuffs to remote settlements and trading stations during short navigation period.

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Salekhard became the centre of small aviation playing an important role in development of difficult-to-access northern areas. Hydroport for An-2V hydroplanes was opened in Salekhard.

One of the most dramatic pages in the history of the town was Construction site NB 501 carried out after the Second World War.

According to the order of Stalin construction of transpolar railway Chum-Labytnangy-Salekhard-Igarka started in 1947. The railway was supposed to serve as a safe transportation line linking the centre of the country with districts of the Extreme North where a large port and a number of strategic objects were supposed to be constructed. The construction was performed by prisoners. Due to extreme working conditions in permafrost, construction of railway through vast inhabitable territories cost a lot of human lives. In 1953 after Stalins death the construction was stopped and later considered as inexpedient.

In 2003 a memorial devoted to the victims of construction NB 501 was inaugurated. Steam locomotive was set up on a pedestal with the train which used to carry people between Salekhard and Nadym.

During the period of oil and gas fields discovery in Western Siberia Salekhard became the centre of exploration expeditions. In summer 1958 Yamalo-Nenets complex exploration expedition was founded in Salekhard. Intensive activity for hydrocarbon fields exploration started. On the 14th of April 1962 the first gas was produced in Tazovsky tundra. From 1964 to 1966 five large gas fields were discovered on Yamal, including Gubkinsky field (350 billion cubic meters of gas) and the world biggest gas field Urengoysky. In 1967 three new fields were discovered including a unique one Medvezhye. In 1969 a new world giant Yamburgsky gas condensate field - was discovered. In the 1970s a network of gas pipelines was constructed to supply blue fuel to the European part of the Soviet Union.

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Today there are a bit more than 515 thousand people inhabit the territory of Yamal of 750,3 thousand km2, i.e. 0,7 persons per square kilometre. At the same time the okrug keeps the third place in Russia for the amount of taxes paid into the federal budget.

Yamal produces about 90% of the natural gas in Russia (equal to almost ¼ of the world gas production) and about 15% of oil and gas condensate in Russia. Totally the okrug produces about ½ of primary energy resources of Russia. A giant part of regional natural resources is not yet developed.

One of the global long-term projects is development of gas resources of the peninsula and Kara Sea offshore. 11 gas fields and 15 oil and gas condensate fields are discovered here. Potential gas resources taking into account offshore fields are evaluated in more than 50 trillion cubic meters; liquid hydrocarbon resources more than 5 billion tons.

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Another biggest project is creation of a new centre of metal mining industry on the territory on Polar Urals to supply metal manufacturers of the neighbouring regions with raw materials. Presently the richest deposits of chromium, manganese, bauxites and gold are developed in Polar Urals.

One of the peculiar features of Yamal is combination of totally different types of management on the okrug territory: industrial development of subsoil resources and traditional activities of the aboriginal population of Extreme North. There is the biggest livestock of reindeer in the region - 600 thousand heads. One third of valuable whitefish world reserves comes from the Ob River basin. One tenth of the okrug territory about 8 million hectares is a protected natural reserve.

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 "".  . .Modern Salekhard is one of the most interesting and dynamic developing cities of the Russian North. It is unique because it is the only city in the world located on the Polar Circle. Its population reaches 40 000 inhabitants. There are no big oil and gas producing companies in Salekhard and its neighbourhood thus the city, in the first place, plays the role of administrative and cultural centre of Yamal. Salekhard combines traditional and contemporary styles.

In 1990 Salekhard was put on the list of historical cities. There is a number of architectural elements of historical and cultural value.

Obdorsk Burg in wood was reconstructed on its original place for the 410th anniversary of Salekhard.

Acquaintance with Salekhard gives an opportunity to feel the unique colouring of life of northern cities. Lately there are many modern houses under construction using original architectural decisions. One of Salekhard attractions is Yamal restaurant built on the bridge over the Shaitanka River. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes of fish and venison. The visitors can admire panoramic view of the city circled with tundra through the elevator window and restaurant windows.

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Another examples of original architectural projects are airport, Ice Palace and Entertainment centre Polyaris. Polar chess school named after the world champion Anatoly Karpov was opened in Salekhard in 2001.

One of the distinguishing features of residential buildings in Salekhard is usage of yellow and red colours for external lining of houses. This practice is used to introduce warm colours into severe northern landscape.

In the neighbourhood of Salekhard there are several monuments underlining unique geographic situation of the city located on the Polar Circle. One of them is the symbol of the city stele 66th parallel; the other one is the monument to mammoth near the crossing for Labytnangy.

At present the look of Salekhard symbolizes specific feature of contemporary Yamal the neighbourhood of traditional mode of life of the northern territory and advanced industrial development of the North.



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