The city, known initially as Romanov-on-Murman, was founded in 1915 when the railroad line to Kola was built, and named after the Russian royal dynasty of the Romanovs. The city was renamed Murmansk after the October Revolution in 1917.
During World War II, Murmansk was a vital link with the Western world for Russia, and a vast commerce with the Allies, especially the US, in items important to the respective military efforts passed through it: primarily manufactured goods into the Soviet Union, and raw materials out.
During the cold war it was a centre of Soviet submarine activity, and since the breakup of the USSR, it remains the headquarters of the Russian Northern Fleet.
Murmansk figured in an episode of JAG.