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Some old Greek Bible manuscripts have "Magadan" for one of the places in Palestine usually known as Magdala.
Magadan (English)
Магадан (Russian)
-  Town[1]  -

Magadan seen from the local mountains

Location of Magadan Oblast in Russia
Magadan is located in Magadan Oblast
Location of Magadan in Magadan Oblast
Coat of arms
Town Day July 14
Administrative status (as of June 2010)
Country Russia
Federal subject Magadan Oblast[1]
Administratively subordinated to town of oblast significance of Magadan[1]
Administrative center of Magadan Oblast,[1] town of oblast significance of Magadan[1]
Municipal status (as of June 2008)
Urban okrug Magadan Urban Okrug[2]
Administrative center of Magadan Urban Okrug[2]
Mayor Vladimir Pechyony
Representative body Town Duma
Area 295 km2 (114 sq mi)[3]
Population (2010 Census) 95,982 inhabitants[4]
Rank in 2010 178th
Density 325/km2 (840/sq mi)[5]
Time zone VLAT (UTC+10:00)[6]
Founded 1929
Town status since July 14, 1939
Postal code(s)[7] 685000
Dialing code(s) +7 4132
Official website
on WikiCommons

Magadan (Russian: Магадан; IPA: ) is a port town and the administrative center of Magadan Oblast, Russia, located on the Sea of Okhotsk in Nagayevo Bay in the Taui Bay and serving as a gateway to the Kolyma region. Population: 95,982 (2010 Census);[4] 99,399 (2002 Census);[8] 151,652 (1989 Census).[9]


  • History 1
  • Administrative and municipal status 2
  • Economy 3
  • Culture and religion 4
  • Climate 5
  • Notable people 6
  • Sister cities 7
  • References 8
    • Notes 8.1
    • Sources 8.2
  • External links 9


Magadan was founded in 1929 on the site of an earlier settlement from the 1920s. During the forced-labor gold-mining operation and forced-labor camp system. The town later served as a port for exporting gold and other metals mined in the Kolyma region.[10] Its size and population grew quickly as facilities were rapidly developed for the expanding mining activities in the area. Town status was granted to it on July 14, 1939.

Magadan was temporarily transformed into a Potemkin village to mark an official visit by U.S. Vice-President Henry Wallace in May 1944. He took an instant liking to his secret policeman host, admired handiwork done by prisoners, and later glowingly called the city a combination of Tennessee Valley Authority and Hudson's Bay Company. Wallace's collaborative stance towards Russia discouraged the Democratic Party of the United States from renominating him as vice president later in the summer of 1944, helping lead to the selection of Harry Truman in his place.

Administrative and municipal status

Magadan is the administrative center of the oblast.[1] Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is, together with two urban-type settlements, incorporated as the town of oblast significance of Magadan—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts.[1] As a municipal division, the town of oblast significance of Magadan is incorporated as Magadan Urban Okrug.[2]


Lenina Street, Magadan

Ship building and fishing are the major industries. The town has a seaport (fully navigable from May to December) and a small international airport, Sokol Airport. There is also a small airport nearby, Magadan 13. The unpaved Kolyma Highway leads from Magadan to the rich gold-mining region of the upper Kolyma River and then on to Yakutsk.

Magadan is very isolated. The nearest major city is Yakutsk, 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi) away via an unpaved road which is best used in the winter, especially since there is no bridge over the Lena River at Yakutsk (the choices are: ferry from Nizhny Bestyakh in the summer, when the rest of the road may not be passable due to standing water, or over the ice in the dead of winter).

The principal sources of income for the local economy are gold mining and fisheries. Recently, gold production has declined.[11] Fishing production, although improving from year to year, is still well below the allocated quotas, apparently as a result of an aging fleet.[12] Other local industries include pasta and sausage plants and a distillery.[13] Although farming is difficult owing to the harsh climate, there are many public and private farming enterprises.

Culture and religion

Church of the Nativity

The town has a number of cultural institutions including the Regional Museum of Anthropology, a geological museum, a regional library and a university. The town has the new Orthodox Cathedral Church of the Trinity, a recently completed Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity and the Mask of Sorrow memorial, a large sculpture in memory of Stalin's victims, designed by Ernst Neizvestny. The Church of the Nativity is actually a part of the diocese of Anchorage, Alaska and ministers to the survivors of the labor camps. It is staffed by several priests and nuns.

The town figures prominently in the labour camp literature of Varlam Shalamov and in the eponymous song by Mikhail Krug, and was a focal point of the Long Way Round motorcycle journey made by Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman and their team in 2004.


The climate of Magadan is subarctic (Köppen climate classification Dfc). Winters are prolonged and very cold, with up to six months of sub-zero temperatures, so that the soil remains permanently frozen. Permafrost and tundra cover most of the region. The growing season is only one hundred days long. Average temperatures on the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk range from −22 °C (−8 °F) in January to +12 °C (54 °F) in July. Average temperatures in the interior range from −38 °C (−36 °F) in January to +16 °C (61 °F) in July.

Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Climate data for Magadan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 2.4
Average high °C (°F) −14.2
Daily mean °C (°F) −16.4
Average low °C (°F) −18.5
Record low °C (°F) −34.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 14
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0.1 0.3 0.3 2.1 11 16 21 20 18 10 2 0.1 100.9
Avg. snowy days 16 14 15 15 6 0 0 0 0.2 8 17 16 107.2
% humidity 65 64 65 71 78 82 86 83 78 69 66 64 72.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 74.4 127.1 226.3 228.0 198.4 216.0 182.9 170.5 147.0 130.2 81.0 40.3 1,822.1
Source #1: Погода и Климат[14]
Source #2: Hong Kong Observatory (sunshine)[15]

Notable people

Sister cities



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Law #1292-OZ
  2. ^ a b c Law #489-OZ
  3. ^ Official Site of Magadan. Обновление материалов генерального плана 1994 г. Пояснительная записка
  4. ^ a b Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011). "Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census, vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись населения 2010 года (2010 All-Russia Population Census) (in Russian).  
  5. ^ The value of density was calculated automatically by dividing the 2010 Census population by the area specified in the infobox. Please note that this value may not be accurate as the area specified in the infobox does not necessarily correspond to the area of the entity proper or is reported for the same year as the population.
  6. ^ Правительство Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон №107-ФЗ от 3 июня 2011 г. «Об исчислении времени», в ред. Федерального закона №248-ФЗ от 21 июля 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон "Об исчислении времени"». Вступил в силу по истечении шестидесяти дней после дня официального опубликования (6 августа 2011 г.). Опубликован: "Российская газета", №120, 6 июня 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #107-FZ of June 31, 2011 On Calculating Time, as amended by the Federal Law #248-FZ of July 21, 2014 On Amending Federal Law "On Calculating Time". Effective as of after sixty days following the day of the official publication.).
  7. ^ Почта России. Информационно-вычислительный центр ОАСУ РПО. (Russian Post). Поиск объектов почтовой связи (Postal Objects Search) (Russian)
  8. ^  
  9. ^ Demoscope Weekly (1989). "Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 г. Численность наличного населения союзных и автономных республик, автономных областей и округов, краёв, областей, районов, городских поселений и сёл-райцентров" [All Union Population Census of 1989: Present Population of Union and Autonomous Republics, Autonomous Oblasts and Okrugs, Krais, Oblasts, Districts, Urban Settlements, and Villages Serving as District Administrative Centers]. Всесоюзная перепись населения 1989 года[All-Union Population Census of 1989] (in Russian). Институт демографии Национального исследовательского университета: Высшая школа экономики [Institute of Demography at the National Research University: Higher School of Economics]. Retrieved August 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ Козлов, А. Г. Магадан. Конспект прошлого. Магаданское книжное издательство (1989) ISBN 5-7581-0066-8. p. 16. 
  11. ^ Russian gold mine production declined four tonnes in 2006, Mineweb, 31 January 2007
  12. ^ New Russian Fishing Quotas Distribution System, Strategis international market reports, 28 August 2004
  13. ^ Magadan Region from Kommersant, Russia's Daily Online. Retrieved 22 January 2007.
  14. ^ "КЛИМАТ МАГАДАНА". Погода и Климат. Retrieved 2014-08-19. 
  15. ^ "Climatological Normals of Magadan". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved 2011-10-17. 


  • Магаданская областная Дума. Закон №1292-ОЗ от 9 июня 2010 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Магаданской области», в ред. Закона №1756-ОЗ от 9 июня 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Магаданской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Магаданской области"». Вступил в силу через 10 дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: Приложение к газете "Магаданская правда", №63(20183), 16 июня 2010 г. (Magadan Oblast Duma. Law #1292-OZ of June 9, 2010 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Magadan Oblast, as amended by the Law #1756-OZ of June 9, 2014 On Amending the Law of Magadan Oblast "On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Magadan Oblast". Effective as of the day which is 10 days after the official publication date.).
  • Магаданская областная Дума. Закон №489-ОЗ от 6 декабря 2004 г. «О муниципальном образовании "город Магадан"», в ред. Закона №1578-ОЗ от 6 марта 2013 г. «О внесении изменения в статью 3 Закона Магаданской области "О муниципальном образовании "город Магадан"». Вступил в силу 31 декабря 2004 г.. Опубликован: "Магаданская правда", №140 (19364), 15 декабря 2004 г. (Magadan Oblast Duma. Law #489-OZ of December 6, 2004 On the Municipal Formation of the "Town of Magadan", as amended by the Law #1578-OZ of March 6, 2013 On Amending Article 3 of the Law of Magadan Oblast "On the Municipal Formation of the "Town of Magadan". Effective as of December 31, 2004.).
  • McGregor, E & Boorman, C: Long Way Round. Time Warner Books, 2004. ISBN 0-7515-3680-6
  • David J. Nordlander: Origins of a Gulag Capital: Magadan and Stalinist Control in the Early 1930s, Slavic Review, Vol. 57, No. 4 (Winter, 1998), pp. 791–812

External links

  • Map of Magadan (Russian)
  • The road up to the Kolyma river. Documentary: repressed in Magadan recall. To watch video.
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