Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

In January of 2011, Hannes Rada, an active Austrian traveler and photographer, visited North Russia’s city of Salekhard, the city located right on the Arctic Circle.

Salekhard is a pretty small city with around 40,000 people. Known mostly as Russian gas industry workers’s place. It is the the administrative center of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia.

Indigenous nomadic peoples, Khants and Nenets, prefer to live in the tundra. If anyone wish to see them and their army of running northern reindeer, it will be necessary to set a long journey in order to find their camps. As you know, nomads love the freedom as strong as their animals prefer to roam across vast territories.

Below, you can see the first portion of Hannes Rada’s winter photographs of Salekhard. Others are coming soon at his website www.offthebeatentrack.at

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

The Mammoth monument is greeting visitors to Salekhard, the biggest city in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

A Polar Circle monument. As you know, Salekhard is the only city located exactly at 66,56 degrees North, i.e. on the Arctic Circle.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

Wooden churches in Salekhard.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

The Khants in Salekhard.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

A Khant girl.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

Reindeer.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

In a traditional costume.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

A portrait of a Khant woman.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

Ice sculptures in gas industry workers’ city of Salekhard.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

A wooden church.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

The Orthodox Church in Salekhard.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

As Hannes says, it was not an easy task to take serious pictures of reindeer, as it thought the lens was some kind of food :-)

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

The same nice reindeer.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

A monument showing the founders of Salekhard.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

The impression of Salekhard.

Winter in Salekhard, Yamalo-Nenets AO, Russia. Photo by Hannes Rada.

The frozen harbor at the Ob River in Salekhard. In winter, from November till April, the frozen waterway is also used as an ice road to connect the okrug’s biggest cities, Labytnangi and Salekhard.

Is Yamalo-Nenets a part of Siberia?

Indeed, there are still disputes on this issue. Residents of Yamalo-Nenets AO prefer to consider their area as the part of the Ural Mountains. They say, “We are not beyond the Urals.” They love to say that Yamalo-Nenets is just in North Russia.

The latter statement is right, but the rest might be doubted. If to believe the map, this region is located behind the mountains in the East, so it appears to be Siberia.

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