A Walk Through Pripyat Ghost Town

The abandoned town of Pripyat was home to the workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, up until it’s evacuation three days after the disaster at the plant.

Pripyat Ghost Town, Ukraine
 

This report is part of a series from the ghost town of Pripyat and Chernobyl exclusion zone. Check out the Chernobyl and Pripyat main page for more reports.


The abandoned town of Pripyat was home to the workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, up until it’s evacuation three days after the disaster at the plant. I spent a few days looking around the Pripyat, in the forgotten local amenities, peoples abandoned homes and business.

In my first report from the ghost town I take a walk through the abandoned streets and look at some of the buildings. I will be going into much more detail in future posts, exploring some of the buildings and bringing you lots of details and internal shots. But first, here is a general overview of the ghost town of Pripyat.

History

Named after the river upon who’s banks the town sits Pripyat was constructed to house the workers of the nearby Chernobyl Power Plant, the ninth town of this kind in the UUSR. Set within a terrain of endless woodland and marshes in Northern Ukraine, the town was founded on 4th February 1970. Construction of the power plant began in the same year – first as construction site, then as one of the biggest nuclear electric power stations in Europe.

Pripyat soon became a key town within Ukraine owing to its location and good transport links. The existing railway lines and station now had links to the convenient local highway network and the newly established river port. The town grew quickly, and by November 1985 had a population of 47,500 and had an annual increase of more than 1,500. Half of them were babies, and the other half were settlers from throughout the Soviet Union.  It was natural that people would want to settle in Pripyat – designed as an exemplary socialist town it had all the amenities any soviet city could dream of.

The town was designed using the Triangle Principle – an apt combination of living towers and standard blocks of flats. The plan saves a lot of land, allowing for more green-space, parks and extensive space between buildings.  The Triangle Principal was devised by Moscow architect Nikolai Ostozhenko and was implemented in many other similar towns in the Soviet Union. Traffic jams were one of Ostozhenko’s concerns and planning to avoid them from the outset ensured they never existed.

On 29th April 1986, three days after the Chernobyl disaster the entire town was evacuated.  Initially residents were told to take only essential items as they would be returning home soon. They were never allowed to return, and the town has stood abandoned ever since.

Pripyat - The iconic Ferris Wheel

Pripyat – The iconic Ferris Wheel

Pripyat - The amusement park was due to open a few days after the disaster - no one ever rode on the ferris wheel

Pripyat – The amusement park was due to open a few days after the disaster – no one ever rode on the ferris wheel

Pripyat - Abandoned Dodgems

Pripyat – Abandoned Dodgems

Pripyat - Abandoned Dodgems

Pripyat – Abandoned Dodgems

Pripyat - The sign stands by the main road into the ghost town

Pripyat – The sign stands by the main road into the ghost town

Pripyat - The Pripyat sign once welcomed visitors to the town

Pripyat – The Pripyat sign once welcomed visitors to the town

Pripyat - The power plant looms over the town

Pripyat – The power plant looms over the town

Pripyat - Gas mask in tree outside a residential block

Pripyat – Gas mask in tree outside a residential block

Pripyat - Kids play area left to rot

Pripyat – Kids play area left to rot

Pripyat - View from the Palace of Culture rooftop

Pripyat – View from the Palace of Culture rooftop

Pripyat - View across the Plaza

Pripyat – View across the Plaza

Pripyat - Under the Kolumnada

Pripyat – Under the Kolumnada

Pripyat - The Voskhod Building standing behind the shopping centre and plaza

Pripyat – The Voskhod Building standing behind the shopping centre and plaza

Pripyat - Blocks of flats in front of the power plant

Pripyat – Blocks of flats in front of the power plant

Pripyat - The Voskhod Building housed the superior engineers at Chernobyl

Pripyat – The Voskhod Building housed the superior engineers at Chernobyl

Pripyat - Abandoned bus behind the Jupiter factory

Pripyat – Abandoned bus behind the Jupiter factory

Pripyat - "The Claw" was used in the clean-up operation and is still highly radioactive

Pripyat – “The Claw” was used in the clean-up operation and is still highly radioactive

Pripyat - Sports Stadium

Pripyat – Sports Stadium

Pripyat - Sports Stadium

Pripyat – Sports Stadium

Pripyat - Benches in the stadium

Pripyat – Benches in the stadium

Pripyat - A signbox showing propaganda

Pripyat – A signbox showing propaganda

Pripyat - The Propaganda Room

Pripyat – The Propaganda Room

Pripyat - Propaganda in the Palace of Culture Theatr

Pripyat – Propaganda in the Palace of Culture Theatre

Pripyat - The super market has seen better days

Pripyat – The super market has seen better days

Pripyat - Cell inside police station

Pripyat – Cell inside police station

Pripyat - The fire station

Pripyat – The fire station

Pripyat - Radioactive sign on building

Pripyat – Radioactive sign on building

Pripyat - The music school has interesting decoration

Pripyat – The music school has interesting decoration

Pripyat - Cafe next to the river

Pripyat – Cafe next to the river

Pripyat - The water still contains high levels of radiation

Pripyat – The water still contains high levels of radiation

Pripyat - The bus station

Pripyat – The bus station

Pripyat - The bus station

Pripyat – The bus station

Pripyat - Decoration on a building

Pripyat – Decoration on a building

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