Thursday, April 17, 2014

Abandoned Places: Pripyat

Pripyat was founded in February of 1970 as a housing development for the workers of Chernobyl, which went into construction at the same time. The city was laid out on a brand new triangular layout, unique at that time, although it became very popular  in Russian cities for a while. By 1979, two years after Chernobyl had become operational, it was finally declared a city. In 1986, the population just shy of 50,000 people, an explosion occurred at Chernobyl sending a plume of radioactive gas into the atmosphere over Pripyat. The entire population was evacuated in two days. Ultimately, more than 350,000 people were evacuated from the fallout zone. One interesting fact: Russia had originally wanted to build Chernobyl just outside of Kiev, but the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences protested.

There is a plan to have Pripyat cleaned of radioactivity by 2065.

The following photos are used by permission from
A radiation warning sign.
The consumer center.
The Prometeus Cinema.
Stained glass in a cafe window.

The following photos are used by permission from


  1. That's just wild to think that an entire city, fairly modern, lies empty like that. Cleaned of radioactivity by 2065? Would you trust that?

  2. There's a movie, "The Chernobyl Diaries," that we watched, that was set there. It's a sort of zombie-ish horror movie that I recall was okay; not great but not a bad watch if you get it on Netflix.

    The pictures you posted look almost exactly like the movie, which made me wonder if they actually filmed it there. I doubt it, if it's all radioactive, but, then, I didn't think the movie was high-budget enough to build a set, either.

  3. Humans obviously knew so little back then about how radiation works. They at least knew enough to evacuate everyone, but they probably shouldn't have built that close to it in the first place. Yeesh.

  4. One knew about Chernobyl, never realised there was a town right by which had to be evacuated.

  5. This is a fascinating place. A modern city abandoned. My favorite is the ferris wheel--like something out of one of my dreams.

    I also like the name of "The Consumer Center". The name is so exemplary of the totalitarian communist era. Sounds like a building from Orwell's 1984.

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  6. Interesting place, eh? I wonder why so many people enjoy desolation tourism.

  7. I never thought I'd say this, but thank goodness for the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences...

  8. 2065 is going to be interesting. People will finally be able to return to an abandoned city and pick up their stuffed animals.

  9. Weirdly, I visited a bunch if the Chernobyl transplants that ended up in the Ukriane about 20 years ago. They were living in a huge compound near Ternople (which I probably spelled wrong).

    This might sound stupid. But I felt at the time that all do the former Soviet block was a giant abandoned place that just happened to have millions of people living there.

    I later decided that it was because all these 1000 year old cities I was visiting that had been renovated by that Stalin era block buildings had a certain feel Tobit I'd never experienced in America.

    Kinda freaked me out.

  10. That's like a modern Pompeii, things pretty much left like how they were.

  11. Alex C: It is weird. And I might trust that. I mean, who knows where technology could be in 50 years?

    Briane: I've heard of it, but I haven't seen it.

    Rebekah: Building that close to it was the point, so they wouldn't have a long commute.
    The problem wasn't really a lack of knowledge about radiation; it was an over estimation of the foolproofness of their system.

    Jo: Yeah... a big one.

    Lee: I know! Everything had names like that.

    Michael: I'm not sure what you mean by that.

    Lexa: Heh heh. No kidding.

    Jeanne: Well, you know, some threads, anyway.

    Rusty: Well, you know, Russia is a big place. Big.

    Pat: Except for the lack of people, yeah.

  12. I read a short story last year "Wormwood is Also a Star", in the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction that uses this city as its central setting. It was really well-written, and goes right along with what was pictured here.