Norilsk weddings held in forced labor camp barracks
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Norilsk weddings held in forced labor camp barracks

June 17, 2021

Throughout its history, the Polar Registry Office has changed at least five locations.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The first civil status records that have come down to us, documenting the weddings of the Norilsk residents, are dated 1937.

In 1939, the village council was situated in a two-story wooden house on Zavodskaya street in two small rooms. There it performed its functions, including registering the marriages of the first Norilsk inhabitants.

In the mid-1940s, the council and the registry office, moved to Gornaya street, to a former barrack. As Zoya Tumanishvili, the chairman of the Norilsk council from 1944 to 1951, recalled, the registry office in this room received a separate room with a good reception. But it was difficult with personnel – the salary was scanty: an old woman in her nineties registered spouses.

In the late 1950s, the Norilsk people connected their hands and hearts in a well-decorated room: the registry office opened at 20 Leninsky prospekt. Now it houses shops, and once there were real wedding ceremonies, with friends-witnesses and festive glasses of champagne.

In 1969, the Norilsk newlyweds got a real Wedding House – on Krasnoyarskaya, 7. The registry office was located on the first floor of a typical building.

The wall of the foyer was decorated with a bas-relief symbolizing family happiness. Many of the Norilsk residents’ albums contain memorable photographs taken against its background.

On the same street, in the Solnechny store, there was also a bridal salon, and next to the registry office there was a hairdresser Fantasy, and brides got married with beautiful hairstyles next door.
On February 14, 2002, the Norilsk registry office moved again. The Celebration Palace is located in the building of a former kindergarten. The area around it is called the Lovers’ boulevard, and for the first family photographs, they built the Kiss bridge.

For other issues of our photo project about the history of the city and the combine, go to the History spot section.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

June 17, 2021

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