Yakutsk is the only large city in the world located on the territory of permafrost. Do some digging - and there is ice. On the one hand, it is convenient, the refrigerator is not needed. Dug out the cellar and store products there. Houses here are built on piles - so that the permafrost does not melt from their heat. That is how they most often write about Yakutsk. However, the capital of the republic is not the only city in the region, built on the permafrost ...

Other cities have sprung in harsh climate with piercing wind in tundra. Many buildings are built on piles, so they do not touch the permafrost. Here is a short-list of Yakut cities and towns and a summary of information on them.


City Aldan

According to official statistics, Aldan (formerly Nezametny) began its chronicle in 1923. In 1932, the village of Nezametny received the city status, and in May 1939 it was renamed Aldan. Today, the population of Aldan is 20.5 thousand people.

The town is located on the territory with the richest natural resources: deposits of coal, iron ore, apatite and uranium ore. The three deposits near Aldan confirmed the presence of large reserves of copper, uranium, mica and large deposits of iron ore, as well as polymetals and gold.


City Verhoyansk

Verkhoyansk was founded in 1638 as a Cossack wintering and is located on the right bank of the Yana River, 92 km south-west of the administrative center of the ulus – Batagai. This is the northernmost town of Yakutia. Population is 1122 people. Verkhoyansk is one of the three smallest settlements in Russia with city status.

Verkhoyansk is one of the coldest places on earth. The lowest temperature of -67.7 ° C was recorded here in February 1892. Verkhoyansk is often called the Pole of Cold in the Northern Hemisphere.


City Vilyuisk

The town is located on the right bank of the Vilyui River (a tributary of the Lena), 592 km north-west of Yakutsk. Vilyuisk was founded in the spring of 1634 by the Yenisei Cossacks, who sailed along the Vilyui River from the Yakutsk fortress for the yasak (a tribute paid off in furs) collection. The original name of the settlement from where the town of Vilyuisk originates - Upper Vilyuisk wintering, the first Russian settlement on Vilyui, the yasak collection point and the outpost of the Russian Cossacks to explore the Vilyui River basin. A little more than 11 thousand people live in Vilyuisk.

The minor planet in the solar system is named in honor of the city of Vilyuisk. The small planet was discovered by astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravleva in 1978.


City Lensk

The town is located on the left bank of the Lena River, 840 km from Yakutsk. The rapid growth began in the middle of the 20th century, and was associated with the discovery and development of diamond deposits in the Vilyui basin. Since the settlement was the closest (230 km) settlement to the Mir kimberlite pipe, it became the “base” for the construction of the city of Mirny. Today about 23.5 thousand people live in Lensk. Here, the ALROSA diamond mining company and the Transneft oil transport joint-stock company have their divisions.

This town is associated with a natural disaster, which was reported in many media. In the spring of 2001, during the ice drift, as a result of an eighty-kilometer ice jam, the Lena River overflowed its banks, flooded the city and almost completely washed out the surrounding villages and settlements.


City Mirniy

The city is located in the west of Yakutia, on the Irelyakh River (Vilyui basin). Distance from the capital of the Republic, Yakutsk, is 107 km. The city owes its existence and name to the discovery of the Mir kimberlite pipe in 1955. In 1957, diamond mining began in the open pit (the Mir quarry), which lasted 44 years (until 2001). By 2001, the quarry was 525 meters deep and more than 1200 meters wide, becoming one of the largest in the world. In 1959, Mirny received the city status. A constant number of inhabitants of Mirny fluctuates around 35 thousand people. Mirny is the center of the ALROSA joint-stock company, which is engaged in diamond mining in the territory of the Mirny, Anabar and Nyurba districts with their subsequent sale. The main buildings of the social and cultural sphere of the city and the Mirny district were built with funds from ALROSA.

130 km from the city there is Srednebotuobinskoye oil and gas condensate field, one of the richest oil and gas fields in the region.


City Nerungri

It is located on the right bank of the Chulman River, 820 km along the Lena highway from Yakutsk. Neryungri originally represented a settlement of tents and mobile huts, which gradually grew to a modern city with blocks of high-rise buildings with all further infrastructure development. The history of Neryungri is associated with the exploitation of mineral resources of South Yakutia. As of January 1, 2018, in terms of population, the city was in 296 place out of 1113 cities of the Russian Federation, with a population of 57 thousand.

There are many legends about the Bottle Rock in the Neryungri district. They say that the one who is able to peer into the rock correctly will surely get absolute freedom, that is, a bird will be seen, which is nothing but the meaning of human existence. Also, locals say that the path to the rock leads to either health or death.


City Nurba

Nyurba is located on the left bank of the Vilyui River, 812 km from Yakutsk. The first settlement was built in the middle of the 18th century. In 1958, Nyurba acquired the status of an urban-type settlement. Since September 26, 1997, Nyurba has been a city of republican significance. In Soviet times, the village played the role of a center for the development of diamond deposits in Yakutia.

Currently, Nyurba is a kind of regional center in the Vilyui districts and is being transformed thanks to the fulfillment of the social obligations by ALROSA. The largest taxpayer of the republic following ALROSA, ALROSA-Nyurba is based in Nyurba.


City Olekminsk

The town is located on the left bank of the Lena, 530 km from Yakutsk. In 1635, the Yenisei Cossacks under the leadership of Pyotr Beketov founded a small fortress. Initially, Olekminsk was located opposite the mouth of the Olekma River, later it was moved 12 km up the Lena River to a flood-free place. The origin of the word Olekma presumably goes back to the Evenk Olookhunay (squirrel). The city is home to more than 9.2 thousand people.


City Pokrovsk

The town is on the left bank of the Lena, 78 km south-west of Yakutsk. Before the arrival of the Russians, on the spot where the town is now located, was Tygyn Darkhan's guard post. Tygyn Darkhan was a toyon (leader) of the Kangalass tribe of the Yakuts, the famous hero of numerous Yakut legends, a true historical figure who lived at the end of the 16th - first third of the 17th centuries. According to the legend, Tygyn's grandfather, Badzha, was the first leader of the Yakuts on the Middle Lena.

One of the hotels in the center of Yakutsk, the Tygyn Darkhan Hotel, is named after Tygyn.

The year of foundation of the settlement is considered to be 1682. On September 26, 1997, Покровск was granted the city status. In the 19th century Pokrovsk was visited by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, author of the novels Oblomov and Pallada Frigate; writer, ethnographer Wacław Sieroszewski, author of the famous fundamental work The Yakuts and many others. As of 2018, more than 9.2 thousand inhabitants live in here.


City Srednekolymsk

Founded in 1643 or 1644 as a Russian Cossack prison. It was known as Yarmonga (Yarmanka). In 1775, Srednekolymsk became a town. It has about 3.5 thousand inhabitants.


City Tommot

The town is located on both banks of the Aldan River (a tributary of the Lena River), 390 km from Yakutsk, 65 km from the regional center Aldan. The construction of the first house started on June 14, 1925 at the mouth of the Ukulan river at its confluence with Aldan, in a dense, pine forest. The town was built, becoming a recreation area of the gold-mining Aldan population. Officially, the city status was obtained in 1933. In the 2010s, uranium mining (Elkon group of deposits) was developing near Tommot. Today, the town is home to over 6, 900 people.


City Udachniy

Located 16 km south of the Arctic Circle, 975 km from Yakutsk. The town consists of two districts - Nadezhny and New Town. It is noteworthy that the New Town residential district does not have street names, there is only a numbering of houses. A total of 35 five-storey buildings are located in the microdistrict Novy Gorod (New Town). Udachny was built in 1967 as a settlement in connection with the start of industrial development of the Udachnaya kimberlite pipe deposit. In 1987 it received the city status. According to the data of 2018, about 12 thousand people live in Udachny.


City Yakutsk

In 1632, a troop of the Yenisei Cossacks led by sotnik Pyotr Beketov, inspecting the banks of the Lena River, laid the Yakut (Lensky) prison on the right bank of the river 70 km downstream from the location of modern Yakutsk. In 1642-1643, the fortress was moved to a modern place - the valley of Tuymaada, when it was renamed Yakutsk.

Yakutsk is the largest of the cities located in the permafrost zone. The fifth largest city in the Russian Far East. The city is located in the valley of Tuymaada on the left bank of the Lena River, in its middle reaches. It is located somewhat north of the parallel of 62 degrees north latitude, as a result of which a long period of “white nights” occurs in the summer, and in the winter (December) the daytime lasts only 3-4 hours.

According to the data of 2019, the population of Yakutsk is 318,768 people, which allows the city to rank 66 among Russian cities.

On the territory of Yakutsk, 4 Guinness records are registered:

The first world record in Yakutsk was set in 2011. On June 24, in the building of the State Circus of Yakutia, 1,344 khomus performers simultaneously played vargan music, and this event was officially recorded as the first Guinness World Record at the Ysyakh of Tuymaada festival.

In June 2012, the Guinness record was set for the most massive circular dance Osuokhai, which was attended by 15,293 people. It was recorded by Adjudicator Jack Brockbank of the Guinness Book of World Records (UK). On June 28, 2014, the third Guinness record was set - Biggest Ritual of Koumiss Libation. It was recorded by Adjudicator of the Guinness Book of World Records Pravin Patel (United Kingdom). 11,136 people took part in the record.

On June 24, 2017, in the area of Yus Khatyng, residents of Yakutia set a Guinness world record for the number of people gathered in one place and at one time in Yakut national clothes. The total number of "champions" in the end was 16, 620 people.