The Abandoned City of Pripyat

Image by ndemi

Image by ndemi

As seen in this earlier article, there are numerous reasons why settlements become deserted and are reduced to ghost towns.  Depletion of natural resources, surplus industry and lawlessness have all contributed to settlers uprooting themselves and their families and moving on.  But sometimes disasters on an unprecedented scale can lead to larger urban areas – even whole cities – being abandoned.  Pripyat in Ukraine, once home to 50,000 people, is one of the most notorious examples.  Founded in 1970 to house workers from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, it was abandoned in 1986 following the terrible disaster that happened there, and has been a “zone of alienation” ever since.

Image by Timm Seuss

Image by Timm Seuss

Hospital bed: image by ndemi

Hospital bed: image by ndemi

After the catastrophe, Pripyat was abandoned in just two days.  The city of Slavutych, 45 miles to the west, was built as replacement accomodation for scientists and plant workers in 1986.  Over the years, lack of maintenance and heavy vandalism have left the buildings in Pripyat in a serious state of disrepair.  Some of the buildings are literally decaying into the ground, as seen in the partial collapse of a former school in 2005.  It is now not uncommon to see the works of man and nature coexisting side by side, as trees and plants engulf the crumbling buildings.

Bus ticket office: image by Timm Seuss

Bus ticket office: image by Timm Seuss

The zone of alienation is considered relatively safe today, and the city can even be visited with a guide.  While the perimeter is guarded by police, a number of Ukrainian companies offer tours and obtaining permission is reportedly easy.  But even so, this is surely still very much an “at your own risk” activity…  For those who do try and obtain permission, the swift nature of evacuation meant that many internal fixtures remain inside the buildings, such as cots in a children’s nursery (pictured), giving the city a eerie and reportedly uncomfortable atmosphere.

Security check: image by Timm Suess

Security check: image by Timm Suess

Abandoned school?  Image by wildhack

Abandoned school? Image by wildhack

Long abandoned ferris wheel: image by Stuck in Customs

Long abandoned ferris wheel: image by Stuck in Customs

ALL images link directly to sources, where you can read about each picture and associated photography.

Click here for an array of atmospheric photos of Pripyat
Further Reading – pripyat.com
Photo film by Nicky Larkin

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  • Camille

    This is creepy and really cool; great website BTW!

  • Tom

    Awesome! Thanks very much, I’m glad you’re a fan!

  • bobfairlane

    Nuclear plants should be banned worldwide.

 
 
 
 
 

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