Nenetsia Autonomy

nenetsia autonomy – ненецкий автономный округ

Nenetsia as a territorial entity of the Russian Federation was established in 1929. The entire region is located within the Arctic Circle; hence it has a rather harsh climate and limited infrastructure. The administrative center of Nenetsia the town of Naryan-Mar can be reached only by air all the year round and by road only in winter time when tundra is solidly frozen.

naryan-mar – нарьян-мар

Nenetsia's capital was founded in 1929. The name in the Nenets language means "red town". There is actually nothing red about Naryan-Mar. Except for some roofs. Being located within the Arctic Circle it is snow white most of the year and green in summer months. The town is not connected with any other region by a railroad. The nearest railway station is in the Komi Republic in the town of Usinsk. The highway to Usinsk has been under construction since 1991. Today (2018) an 80-km leg remained impassable when tundra melts. The road is very bumpy and uncomfortable to travel. It is mostly paved with concrete slabs which decay under unfriendly weather conditions, some sink to boggy soil, some on the contrary forced out by quick sands.

Here sits the Nenetsia administration. The building was built in 1939.

The post office built in 1946-52 is Naryan-Mar's most interesting architectural feature.

The Epiphany Church built in 1997-2002 stands in the very center of Naryan-Mar.

The museum of regional history.

The concert hall at daytime and at night.

At night the building shines with fifty shades of grey.

The central square. The five previous sights huddle around it.

Lenin square with modern apartment houses in the background.

The newly built church stands on the bank of the Pechora River.

A colourful day care center aka kindergarten.

The WWII memorial.

The WWII battles were fought rather far from Naryan-Mar but dozens of Naryan-Marians were killed during the war. Several barges assigned to the Naryan-Mar port were torpedoed by German submarines in the Barents Sea.

Naryan-Mar is the pearl of Arctic.

The town hall.

The Zapolyarnaya Stolitsa Hotel.

Old Naryan-Mar.


New Naryan-Mar.

On the Pechora River.

The Arctic Circle sign on the road from Usinsk to Naryan-Mar.

Over the last four decades Nenetsia acquired a great importance as an oil and gas producing region. Drilling rigs, oil and gas processing plants, flare stacks have become an integral part of the tundra landscape. When flying over tundra, the ramified network of pipelines looks like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle.

A maze of pipelines.

A drilling rig.

June: first flowers & last snow.

Summer is short. Tundra changes colours every month. July.



Tundra takes its toll.

A ray of light in the kingdom of darkness.