Tourist Map (44KB); Russia Destinations (main page)
Magadan city was founded in 1933, by all means in the middle of nowhere. It was the peak of Stalin's "reforms" and "projects", when cities were built with little or no economic reasons and surreal plans to redirect Siberian rivers. The discovery of gold served the economic reason for founding the city. The remoteness and severe conditions served another role - it was an ideal place for Stalin's opposition. Because of the natural resources, the city survived the collapse of both, the USSR and the Stalin's camp system. It was not abandoned like many other cities and towns built during Stalin's time, but continues to live and surprisingly is gaining economic popularity. It is believed that the Okhotsk Sea has oil and gas reserves while gold and other color metals remain to be the main source for the income.
But what is there for tourists...besides being within few hours by plane from the Arctic circle, the city offers few interesting museums featuring GULAG history and rare discoveries such as mammoth fossils, meteorites and precious minerals. In the summer, when the Okhotsk Sea is free of ice, take a boat tour to see the frozen shores shaped by salt water. Yet, the real treasure of Magadan city are the People. It is a special "tribe" with rare qualities. They are shaped by conditions that very few people have ever experienced. The sever nature of Magadan can be easily compared to the perpetual Tyranny. With time people accept this fact and turn into humble worshipers of the nature denying any other powers or control over their souls. What you have in the end is a person with gracious humbleness, free spirit and incredible drive for survival.