This is the second of four posts which I will be publishing from the four days I spent exploring the abandoned city of Pripyat:
1. Avanhard Stadium, Fairground with Ferris Wheel and Bumper Cars, Palace of Culture ‘Energetik’, Polissya Hotel, and Music School.
2. The schools of Pripyat – Kindergartens #13 ‘Goldfish’, #4 ‘Golden Cockerel’, #15, Elementary Schools #1, #3, #2 and #5.
3. Hospital No.126.
4. Swimming Pool ‘Lazurny’, Piano Shop, Post office, Police Station, Jupiter factory, Vehicle Graveyard, Apartment Block, and Cafe ‘Pripyat’.
As always, click on a photo to VIEW LARGE
The schools were by far the most poignant and emotionally affecting places that I explored during my time in Pripyat. Whilst the vast majority of buildings have long since been smashed up and stripped of all but a few remnants over the past three decades of abandonment, the schools still held the strongest traces of the souls which once inhabited this City.
I found classrooms with chairs still stacked neatly on desks, ready for the next day’s classes which never came. Home work, text books, and class projects strewn on floors. And in the Kindergartens the tiny dolls, toys, shoes, and other personal effects of the infants who were blissfully unaware of the catastrophe which was unfolding on 26 April 1986.
At the time of the evacuation, Pripyat had a total of 15 kindergartens for 4,980 students, and 5 elementary schools for 6,786 students.
Elementary School #1
We only walked past this school, which is distinctive due to the portion of the building which partially collapsed in July 2005, and again in 2013.
Elementary School #3
This school is the most frequented by visitors to Pripyat due to amount of items still remaining, and the famous floor of gas masks which were originally stored at the school in case of attack by the USA during the Cold War.
An old archive photo of the school in the depths of winter.
Kindergarten #13 ‘Goldfish’
Each of the Kindergartens were given a nickname – this one was ‘Goldfish’.
Kindergarten #4 ‘Golden Cockerel’
The outsides of the kindergarten buildings were often decorated with colourful murals. Here’s what this one looked like before the disaster…
Elementary School #2
I really enjoyed my brief explore of this middle school…
An old music classroom – click on this one to see large.
I skirted around through some undergrowth to find the back door into this now ruined gymnasium…
…before exploring a few more of the classrooms…
…and I then headed to the roof to enjoying the surrounding view in the spring sunshine…
…and take a quick selfie with my good buddy James. 🙂
On our last day we happened across this smaller kindergarten on the outskirts of the city. I haven’t been able to find out what its nickname was…
Elementary School #5
With time fast running out on our last afternoon, my mate Tommy and I broke off from our group to made a quick climb over a fence and through some undergrowth to this school.
First we had a look at the former greenhouse, built next to it.
Before heading into the school…
I just had time to grab this shot of a classroom bookshelf, still stocked with old textbooks (and a gas mask!), before it was time to rejoin our group.
Thanks for visiting.
Was this a sanctioned visit? I’m just wondering how you arranged for this. Excellent – the Mount Everest of Urbexer’s
Thanks Robert – I went as part of a bespoke trip organised by fellow explorers. It meant that we got to spend lots of time exploring Pripyat and the surrounding villages and camps. We stayed at the city of Slavutych, which was built solely to rehouse the workers displaced from Pripyat, and we took the only train from the train station to and from the Power Plant each day! From there, after passing through passport and dosimeter checkpoints we travelled with local guides.
Thanks…it is on my “bucket list” for sure.