Magadan is a city located in the extreme North-East of Russia. If you look at a map, you can say that it is literally on the edge of the country, more precisely, at the coordinates 59° 34 'N, 150° 48' E, on the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk. The distance from Magadan to Moscow by motor road is 9,709 km. Seven time zones separate it from the Russian capital. And when the Muscovites are still ceased by their midnight dreams, a new dawn is already breaking in Magadan. Magadan is a multinational city, with more than 80 ethnic groups living on its territory. The population is 99,700 people.
Magadan is comfortably situated on the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk between the picturesque Nagaeva and Gertnera bays, on the neck connecting the Staritskyi peninsula and the mainland. From the land the city is surrounded by hills that rise 150-170 m above the sea level. The river Magadanka flows through the city, nominally dividing it into two large areas, which are in their turn divided into residential neighborhoods.
Although the city is on the same latitude as St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Oslo, the nature and the climate are completely different, not similar to the European ones. Magadan climate is subarctic with some features of the coastal. Winter is long, but as the city is next to the sea, temperature fluctuations are somewhat smoothed. Summer is short and cool. The warmest summer month is August with an average daily maximum of +15 ° C. With such temperature range the snow-covered hills surrounding the city are used by skiers and snowboarders almost all year round. The shortest daylight time is 6 hours, and the longest is 19. During the White (Polar) Nights, which occur in June, total darkness never happens.
Magadan is an amazingly attractive and picturesque city, with developed modern infrastructure and all necessary services. Although in comparison to other Russian cities it is still very young (just turned 75 in 2014), it has something to tell and to surprise with. The appearance and establishment of the city is connected with the times of the gold rush, the exploration of the richest deposits and the beginning of gold mining in the area not yet developed then. In 1929, the East-Evensk camp was built on the shore of the bay, which gave birth to Magadan village that obtained the city status 10 years later, in July of 1939. According to the official version, the name comes from the Even word mongodan, which means sea debris. Today the Magadan region remains the country leader in the extraction of silver and gold. Most gold mining companies’ headquarters are located in the city.
Magadan is a a major administrative, financial, service, scientific and cultural center of the Magadan region. All life-sustaining flows of the territory start here. The largest North-East of Russia commercial sea port is located in Nagaeva Bay. Icebreakers perform ice channeling all year round. Here over a thousand kilometers federal Kolyma highway starts. The route passes through almost all areas of the Kolyma gold production to the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). There’s no railway, so air travel is the main way to get to the central regions of the country. Magadan airport is able to receive most types of aircrafts.
The basis of Magadan economics are power production, mechanical engineering and metalworking companies, food processing industry, as well as service providing organizations. The city has a wide network of housing and communal services, engineering infrastructure, trade, catering, social, and consumer services establishments – all that is necessary for the townspeople’s full life. The city's economy is developing steadily. The annual turnover of Magadan enterprises is estimated at more than 50 billion rubles, or about $1 billion and occupies a third of the turnover of the Magadan region. The real sector is represented by production enterprises (energy, mining, manufacturing) and fishing. The city is actively developing agriculture. Industry enterprises and farms grow potatoes, cabbage, greens, carrots as well as some vegetables in the greenhouses. The local production of dairy products, eggs, poultry, pork and beef grows each day. Fishing enterprises of the city catch from 50 to 100 thousand tons of fish and seafood on average per year. Every year their export volume is about 50 thousand tons. The construction industry is actively developing; the investment activity in the city is growing. Digital and interactive television operates in Magadan. Citizens have a multiservice broadband and satellite Internet with the use of advanced technologies.
The municipality achievements in the area of urban management and territory improvement have been repeatedly distinguished at the Russian and international competitions and parades. Magadan is an active participant in the social and political life of the region and the country. It is a member of the national and international associations and unions (the Union of Russian cities, Russian Union of Small Towns, Alliance of the Arctic and the Far North Cities, the Association of Siberian and Far Eastern Cities, the All-Russian Council of Local Authorities, the International Assembly of Capitals and Cities, and others). Magadan has Sister Cities relations with five cities. They are Tonghua and Shuangyashan (China), Jelgava (Latvia), Zlatitsa (Bulgaria), Anchorage (USA).
Scientific, educational and cultural potential of the region is centered in the city. There are eight research institutes, a variety of cultural and entertainment facilities. Thousands of young citizens are being taught in more than 50 kindergartens, schools, lyceums, colleges and extended education institutions for children. Three educational institutions of secondary vocational education and six higher education institutions provide the opportunity to get a degree in various fields. The library network is well-developed; there are several modern recreation centers. The city sports infrastructure is actively developing. Everyone has the opportunity to engage into sports on the multi-functional platforms and training grounds built in the urban districts yards. Skiing is especially popular in Magadan. There are enough favorable conditions for its development, especially the convenient snow slopes. At a sport and entertainment Snegorka complex you can go snowboarding, skiing, snow tubing, or skating. The artificial snow allows skiers to practice skills on modern snow routes. Elena Vyalbe, the President of the Russian Ski Races Federation, a Soviet and Russian skier, three times Olympic champion, 14-times World Champion, five-times World Cup winner, who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the best skier of the XX century, was born and grew up in Magadan, and here she started her impressive sports career.
Magadan peoples cultural life has its own vivid and special flavor. During the year the city hosts various citywide events such as Ligo – Baltic Midsummer holiday, Even Hebdenek, Tatar-Bashkir Sabantuy, Polar Nights traditional festival, Winter Coming and Seeing Winter Off celebrations, Magadan Fountains’ Day and many others. Each season Magadan Music and Drama Theatre attracts thousands of fans and lovers of theatre art and the Puppet Theatre entertains little Kolyma citizens with its rich repertoire. You can vary your leisure time with numerous visits to exhibitions, museums, cinemas and places of memory.
At first glance, the city of Magadan seems huge and somewhat stretched. But in fact, the city is compact and cozy. You can walk around it in just forty minutes. The historic downtown, built on Leningrad architects’ designs, naturally combines with modern buildings and houses in the style of Stalin's empire. We have our own Eiffel Tower and the Savior (Spasskaya) Tower. The first is the TV tower on Komsomolskaya Square, the second tower is on the Stalin era old house under a high spire with a golden deer on the face of the tower clock. You can see the whole city with the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the center of it from the observation deck of the Mask of Sorrow memorial complex.
The work of the great architect Nature remains truly unique in Magadan. Nagaeva and Gertnera Bays, which have become a favorite vacation spot for locals and guests, numerous creeks and waterfalls, where citizens spend weekends and holidays with the whole family, the neighborhood of Snezhny recreation center... Breathtaking and stunning views open to your eyes once you climb one of the hills surrounding the city. It is the place to go in the fall for generous Kolyma harvest of ripe cranberries, sour berries, scented yellow boletuses and russules, cones and juicy crowberry. And of course, fishing! Here everyone is a fisherman since young years. Both old and young know all the charms of the Kolyma trophies and ways to get them. About Magadan fishing you can talk for hours, or even write a book, but it is better to get to know it yourself...
Many lives and difficult periods got intertwined in the history of Magadan. Every time has left its mark in the memory of man, in the numerous monuments and sights, and, of course, on the image of Magadan itself. New time brings its trends and fashion. Each year some modern facilities, shops, and fountains appear; thousands of LED signs brighten the evening city with rainbow lights. But surely, the city, having organically absorbed the spirit of each time opens to a traveler a great opportunity to learn about the history and the present day of the region, helps them to feel the spirit and romance of the sea and see unforgettable landscapes, to marvel at the Kolyma’s hospitality, to taste delicious delicacies – the gifts of the Sea of Okhotsk... After that your wish to return once again to this extraordinary city on the shores of the Sea of Okhotsk shouldn’t surprise you!