Pripyat ghost town

Pripyat was established in 1970 to house the workers of the Chernobyl plant and was one of first modern towns in Ukraine. The average age of its population was only twenty-six years. Surprisingly, in the morning after the accident, most people went about their business unaware of the magnitude of the disaster that was unfolding less then 3km away from their homes. Radiation levels throughout Pripyat were extremely dangerous and most people were going about their daily lives completely oblivious to this fact. Lately, after Forsmark Nuclear power plant in Sweden measured elevated levels at their facility and concluded it must be coming from somewhere in Russia, the Soviet authorities did admit the accident. This warning message was reported on local radio: “An accident has occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. One of the atomic reactors has been damaged. Aid will be given to those affected and a committee of government inquiry has been set up.”

Entire Pripyat population of 49.360 people evacuated the day after the disaster. At 14:00 hours on 27 of April 1986, the order for the evacuation of the city of Pripyat begun. It took just three hours to evacuate all people. Residents were told the evacuation was temporary, for only a few days, and were instructed to take only personal documents and enough clothing for couple of days. To this day no one has ever returned to live in Pripyat.
During the subsequent weeks and months an additional 67.000 people were evacuated from their homes in the affected areas in Ukraine and Belarus. In total about 200.0000 people are considered to have been evacuated as a result of the Chernobyl incident.


The cultural center

Hotel Polissya (photo:

Pripyat was completely washed down using tanks and other machinery, clearing the whole city of radioactive elements, which are now being absorbed into the soil at a rate of about 1cm per year. It is estimated that between 600.000 and 1.000.000 liquidators were involved in the Exclusion Zone clean process. Varying reports estimate that about 25.000 of them are now dead and another 70.000 are ill or suffering the effects of the radiation doses.

Famous ferris wheel

Amusement park was rumored to open on 1 of May 1986, five days after the nuclear explosion. It has long been believed that wheel was never actually used, but it seems that they had in fact been used at some point. Some theories suggest the amusement park rides were opened early during the 36 hours before emergency evacuations to keep Pripyat residents entertained. No one remembers for sure.

The area of the fun fair was used as a landing area for the helicopters that were tackling the fire at the power station. Near a drain in the middle there is a remarkably “hot” area of contamination that results from where the helicopters were “cooled” and washed with water. Geiger counter shows 87,53 μSv

Bumper cars

Pripyat Stadium
Days after the accident, the stadium was used as a base to land helicopters employed to contain reactor fires and limit further radiation leaks. The open grounds also served as a landing hub for transporting the sick and wounded from the plant to the hospital. Due to the presence of contaminated helicopters in the center of the stadium, radiation levels are high.

Apartment block

Some time after the evacuation, families were allowed back briefly to collect furniture and belongings: anything that was not too radioactive and which they could find a means of transporting (transportation was not provided by the government) was removed.

When the government moved clean-up workers into Chernobyl, they needed furnishings and much of was taken from Prypiat. What was left, they took looters. Highly radioactive items were taken out of the Zone and sold to unknowing buyers around Kiev.

Once radiation levels had dropped somewhat, the government awarded contracts to a number of scrap metal companies to salvage all the metal that fell below a certain radiation threshold. These companies ripped out window frames, tore out piping and so on.
Former residents of Prypiat are allowed to return for one day a year close to the anniversary of the disaster. Among them are teenage kids, some of whom would drink and go through the town smashing whatever they could find.


Olympic-sized swimming-pool

Ghosts of Pripyat

Sadly from July 2008 it’s not allowed to go on roof of highest building in Pripyat, because buildings are in bad shape and possibility of collapse is high 🙁


  1. by Sašo on October 13, 2012  1:01 pm

    A po ostalih hišah se lahko sprehajaš? Random? Vidim, da v nekatere si šel.

  2. by admin on October 13, 2012  5:17 pm

    V bistvu greš lahko samo v ene par hiš. Včasih si jih lahko obiskal občutno več, kakor vidim po slikah drugih, ki so bili tam par let nazaj.

  3. by jernej on October 17, 2012  8:09 am

    Semle sem si pa vedno želel it! Ampak kot praviš, te zelo na vrvici držijo?!

  4. by admin on October 17, 2012  8:44 am

    če si šel večdnevno varianto potem si videl več, videl si tudi hladilni stolp za peti reaktor, ambulanto v Pripyatu, še en vrtec, šolo.... ampak kakor sem gledal po netu po slikah je bilo vse to slikano par let nazaj in vprašanje kako je sedaj, ko imajo vodiči prepoved vodenja v določene stavbe. Mislim da se je najbolje obrniti na kakšno agencijo da razložijo kako in kaj

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.