Formerly (until 1917) Romanov-na-Murmane, seaport and centre of Murmansk region, northwestern Russia, lying 125 mi (200 km) north of the Arctic Circle, and on the eastern shore of Kola Bay, 30 mi from the ice-free Barents Sea. Population 472,900 (1991)
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 USSR through the Arctic Ocean.
Murmansk is now an important fishing port, and its fish-processing plant is one of the largest in Europe.
Murmansk's ice-free harbour makes it Russia's only port with unrestricted access to the Atlantic and world sea routes. From December to May it replaces icebound St. Petersburg as the major port of the northwest.
Murmansk is connected by railroad with St. Petersburg and Moscow and the mining and industrial centres of Monchegorsk and Kirovsk.
Education and research establishments include a teacher-training institute and a research institute of marine fisheries and oceanography.
Murmansk (probably from the local Sami word murman meaning "the edge of the earth") is the largest town in the world north of the Arctic Circle.