The Pyramiden bird cliff


Pyramiden is a Russian ghost town on Spitsbergen. It was an active mining settlement until 1998, when a ship showed up, telling them to pack all they needed so they could be shipped back home. Because of this all the buildings and most of the equipment is still there. Even though a few Russians are still living there (the hotel has opened again recently and they are still cleaning up), nature is slowly taking over the settlement.

Purple Sandpipers and Spitsbergen Ptarmigan are regularly seen in the village, but the most prominent are the Kittiwakes, who have found a great breeding place in the windows of the buildings. Once the village was busy with the sounds of the miners, their families (there was even a playground), now it’s only the “kitti-wake, kitti-wake” that you can hear everywhere.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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