Chernobyl & Pripyat: abandoned cities in photos

Tours to Chernobyl are becoming increasingly popular, and are a must for anyone wanting a completely unique experience. It is, however, crucial to understand the gravity of what happened at the Chernobyl Power Plant and the Soviet Union’s attempts to both clean up, and cover up, the world’s worst nuclear accident.

Here are a selection of my photos from our time in Chernobyl and the abandoned city of Pripyat.

Though we were told on our visit that everything in Pripyat had been left as it was on the day of the evacuation, there was without a doubt some staging and a liberal use of creative licence around the most commonly visited buildings.

Pripyat ferris wheel

The abandoned ferris wheel in Pripyat was never opened – it was constructed for May Day celebrations celebrated just days after the explosion. The town was evacuated before it could be used.

Abandoned buildings in Pripyat

The city of Pripyat was relatively new when it was abandoned – it had gained city status only eight years previously. Therefore, the exterior shells of most buildings are in relatively good condition.

Abandoned buildings in Pripyat

Abandoned city: Pripyat

The interior of buildings however, is not in a good condition. The picture below is from the town gym.

Abandoned gym in Pripyat

Abandoned school in Pripyat

During our tour, we explored an abandoned school. Inside, we found lost of ‘left-behind’ artefacts, such as calendars, textbooks and maps. Some of these were in a suspiciously good condition and had probably been laid out to make the tour seem more ‘interesting’.

The photo above reads: “Today we are children, tomorrow – the Soviet people.”

Welcome to Pripyat, 1970.

Abandoned cities: Welcome to Pripyat

Read more on my day trip to Chernobyl and Pripyat here.