YAmalia  autonomy – Ямало-ненецкий автономный округ

Yamalo-Nenets Autonomy or Yamalia was established as an administrative entity in December 1930. In the 1960-s large deposits of natural gas were discovered. It gave rise to a large-scale exploration and construction in the entire area. Yamalia is Russia's most important source of natural gas. The region is of utmost importance to Russia's industrial giant Gazprom, whose main production fields are located here. Therefore, drilling rigs, gas plants and similar facilities are quite common here.

And remember: Yamalia, especially its eastern part - Novy Urengoy, Noyabrsk, Yamburg - can be very cold. Minus 550C (-670F) and even lower.

salekhard – салехард

The administrative center of the autonomy is Salekhard. Despite of its remote location, Salekhard was founded rather long ago in 1595 as a small fortress under the name of Obdorsk. Obdorsk changed its name for Salekhard in 1933. Today Salekhard is a fast-developing town with new colourful buildings.

The restored stockade town.

Salekhard's administration.

Yamalia's administration.

Locals nicknamed this building "a parrot".

Salekhard is located right on the Arctic Circle. The fact is marked by a monument.

A WWII memorial.

A block of flats.

A mosque.

A concert hall.

An artistry school.

The upper part of this metal and glass structure houses a restaurant.

The Arctica Hotel.

Yamalia was the land of the woolly mammoth just 10,000 years ago.

Woolly mammoths big and small are displayed in the regional history museum.

Since 2020 Salekhard is accessible by road all the year round. The railway running from Moscow ends in Labytnangi on the other side of the Ob River. The bridge across the river has been under discussion (not under construction yet) for many years. So, twice a year, in late spring (May) when the ice crossing melts and in early winter (October-November) when the Ob is not solidly frozen yet, Salekhard is cut off from mainland.

The mammoth statue overlooks the ferry crossing from Salekhard to Labytnangi.

From 1947 to 1953 gulag prisoners built the Salekhard-Igarka railway. The construction, having claimed thousands of lives, was later abandoned. The monument commemorating the involuntary railroad builders.

gornoknyazevsk – горнокнязевск

The open-air ethnographic museum is located 15 km from Salekhard in the village of Gornoknyazevsk. The Nenets Prince Ivan Taishin was licensed by the Russian Tsar Nicholas I to rule the Obdorsk Principality.

Visitors are treated to a lunch in a tee-pee. A bottle of vodka is included.

novy urengoy– новый уренгой

Novy Urengoy founded in 1975 is the largest city in Yamalia with about 120,000 inhabitants. The natural gas capital of Russia.

noyabrsk – ноябрьск

Noyabrsk located in the very south of Yamalia was founded in 1976. The town was built with the only purpose - to facilitate the development of oil and gas fields.

The Town Hall.

WWII memorial.

Muslims from the Caucasus and Central Asia are flocking Yamalia seeking jobs. At least one mosque can be found in each northern Russian town.

The recreation park with a colorful play ground for kids.

Noyabrsk younger generation.

John Burke of Cleveland, Ohio, USA is mixing with locals.

gubkinsky – губкинский

When driving from Noyabrsk to Novy Urengoy travelers pass by or through, if they wish, several small and neat towns.

muravlenko – муравленко