January 21, 2022


The Trip Encyclopedia

Top 10 Must See Places in Pripyat

Ukraine is the geographical center of Europe and the homeland of the world‘s first constitution. There are seas, mountains, forests, lakes and beautiful cities requiring a visit but it became famous in the whole world after the tragedy, which left its mark even after 30 years and will deprive it for hundreds and thousands more.


The explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant occurred on April 26, 1986 – the world witnessed one of the most terrible catastrophes in the history of mankind.


The radiation flare from the explosion at the fourth power unit equates to the blast of 500 atomic bombs thrown at Hiroshima in 1945.


Chernobyl now is a watchdog city in which people still live and work as in the zone of exclusion. People from all over the world come to look at the dead places that are the outcome of human error. Short visits to  Chernobyl zone are safe, but they are carefully regulated and permitted only as part of organized private tours. Below is a list of those places that you can see in Chernobyl zone and hear how one of the developing cities of the USSR has become only a response to the past.


1.Chernobyl NPP in Pripyat

Photo by IAEA Imagebank on Foter.com


The first  Ukrainian nuclear power plant in the city of Chernobyl is notorious because of the world’s largest man-made disaster that happened here on April 26, 1986 – the reactor destroyed by the explosion. The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is recognized as the most destructive in scale and number of victims in the history of nuclear energy.  115,000 people were evacuated from the affected territories and more than 600,000 people struggled with the man-made disaster. The source of the leakage of a large number of radioactive substances.


The destroyed NPP reactor was covered with a protective sarcophagus.


2. Shelter “Sarcophagus”

Photo by Jorge Franganillo on Foter.com


To isolate the destroyed reactor, a Shelter protective structure was created, informally referred to as “Sarcophagus” – the structure covers the destroyed fourth power unit in order to protect the environment from the continuing effects of radiation.


The sarcophagus was erected in just 206 days after the accident, in the shortest possible time. About 90 thousand workers were hired to build the Sarcophagus and more than 7000 tons of metal and 400 thousand cubic meters of concrete were used.


3. Exclusion Zone

Photo by Vic Harkness on Foter.com


The exclusion zone is a combination of territories contaminated by radiation as a result of a reactor explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. The zone is divided into three controlled areas, depending on the distance from the epicenter of the explosion:

• Special zone – directly on the territory of the Chernobyl NPP.

• 10 km Zone.

• 30 km Zone.


To be in any of these areas is possible only with a special permit.  However, 33 years after the accident, the abandoned exclusion zone has turned into a real reserve. There live bears and bison, wolves and lynxes, wild boars.


4. Amusement park

Photo by Jorge Franganillo on Foter.com


The amusement park and the Ferris wheel located here is a symbol of Pripyat. There are cars, boats, and roundabouts for children. Many attractions today are almost completely destroyed, and some are used to create staged photos.


The official opening of the amusement park was planned for May 1, 1986, but the carousel was experimentally launched earlier.  It was done on April 27, 1986, in order to prevent panic from rumors of a nuclear catastrophe.


Even thirty years later, dosimeters show rather high radiation indices. All the carousels are made of metal and they, like the Chernobyl technique, were subjected to great irradiation.


5. Hotel Polesye

Justin Stahlman, via Wikimedia Commons


Hotel Polesye is located in the geographical center of the city – on the main square of Pripyat.


It was planned to make a cafe with a summer veranda and a panoramic view on the last floor of the hotel – a view of the city’s surroundings.


Hotel Polesye was involved in the process of eliminating the Chernobyl catastrophe in April 1986. Here, near the city executive committee, a post of dosimetry was located and the soldiers were based. From the hotel roof, the fourth block was perfectly watched through, so there were adjustors, guiding the actions of pilots.


6. Rusty Forest in Pripyat

Photo by Jorge Franganillo on Foter.com


The unique forest occupies approximately 10 km², located on the territory of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Characterized by the fact that it absorbed a huge dose of radioactive dust, most of the trees died, and the survivors acquired a rusty hue.


During the decontamination works, forests were destroyed, which were restored by natural processes.  All the trees were felled with the help of engineering lashings (WRI), the wood was buried right on the site of the “red forest”. The forest was buried very close to the groundwater, which increased the risks of radionuclides entering the Pripyat and Dnieper basins.


7. ChNPP cooling pond in Pripyat

Vic Harkness, via Wikimedia Commons


For the needs of the nuclear power plant, an artificial reservoir was created – a cooling pond. The large area of ​​the pond, the technical functioning of the artificial reservoir and the strongest contamination as a result of the release of radioactive particles is a serious potential threat to nearby territories. In order to continue to maintain the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in an environmentally safe condition, it is necessary to constantly monitor the fluid in the reservoir and maintain the necessary water level to prevent leakage, which can lead to the spread of radionuclides.


8. Death Bridge in Pripyat

Photo by gpjt on Foter.com


The road leading to Pripyat runs over railway lines, from where a nuclear power plant can be seen, towering above the forest. Citizens of Pripyat came here on the bridge on April 26, 1986, to see the burning reactor, not knowing that the radiation level here was one of the highest in the city. The people who stood on the bridge that night died a few weeks later.


Soon the bridge was closed and taken from both sides into a cordon – the police did not let anyone in here except the transport, which was supposed to move across the bridge as quickly as possible.


9. Pool ” Lazurny ” in Pripyat

Photo by Jorge Franganillo on Foter.com


There were three distinct sports facilities in Pripyat – the city stadium, the Avangard Sports Complex, and the Lazurny  Swimming Pool.  Before the crash, the Lazurny swimming pool was an amazingly beautiful place.  Pool “Lazurny ” was built in 1970 and worked until the 1992 year. Even after the Chernobyl disaster, local workers and liquidators used the services of the pool, because this place was the most “clean” in terms of radioactive background. Today, the pool “Azure” is completely abandoned. There are no tall glass windows, you can see graffiti inside the pool itself, but the jumping tower still looks majestic.


10. Palace  of Culture “Energetik” in Pripyat

IAEA Imagebank, via Wikimedia Commons


Before the accident, the city of Pripyat was prosperous. People from all over the Soviet Union came to live in this city; they set it as an example to other cities of the state. The Palace of Culture “Energetic” in Pripyat was built according to the standard plan 20-06-9 / 70. It was part of a whole complex of urban central buildings, which included a department store, a hotel, a restaurant, a kitchen for children, a cinema, a sports hall, a house of culture, a grocery store, and so on. There were clubs of interest,  artists performed, they showed concerts.