Murmansk (probably from the Sami word "murman" meaning "the edge of the earth"), northwestern Russia, the largest town in the world north of the Arctic Circle, lies 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, and on the eastern shore of Kola Bay, at the ice-free Barents Sea, home to Russia’s nuclear-powered ice-breakers. The population is about 473.000.
The town, founded in 1915 as a supply port in World War I, was a base for the British, French, and American expeditionary forces against the Bolsheviks in 1918. In World War II Murmansk served as the main port for Anglo-American convoys carrying war supplies to the U.S.S.R. through the Arctic Ocean. The town is now an important fishing port, and its fish-processing plant is one of the largest in Europe.
A lot of guests flock in during the Festival of the North, held in the last week of March and featuring reindeer races and a ski marathon.