Jul 19, 2008

You'll Never Ride It III: Pripyat

Spot the crumbling hubba:

The Ukrainian city of Pripyat has been a ghost town since 1986, when, bullseye downwind from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, its entire population was evacuated in a span of 24 hours--50,000 people, one suitcase each. Everything else remained as it was left, a perfect time capsule coated in fallout. Three decades without human influence have given nature the opportunity to begin reclamation of the land.

Wikipedia reports that background radiation is at a safe level now; sometime around 2000, looters began clearing out the city's apartment buildings. "Nothing of value was left behind," Wikipedia states. "Even toilet seats were taken away."

Archaeologically speaking, it's too bad that the time capsule has been violated; or perhaps it's good news that Ukrainian entrepreneurs are tapping into these long-frozen assets. The city border is still controlled by the military, but tour companies are being granted access. I don't suppose that a bmx bike would be allowed inside. Maybe if you greased the appropriate palms.

How hilarious/cool would it be to hop that fence with a crew of friends, bikes, and camping gear, and explore the silent city, cruising down streets and sidewalks, carving around the trees and weeds pushing up through the pavement? I bet much of the city feels like utter wilderness.


(BTW, on the bmx+camping tip, check the NoBikes blog for photos of their excursion to a remote spillway in the Alaskan wilds. Wish the write-up went into greater detail. I'd be interested in the non-riding photos, too.)



MACBA ledge.


Not actually a missile.

Put some tiremarks on Lenin.

...Too many amazing Pripyat images to choose from. Here are handful from around the internet.
[Nuclear] Winter.



Chernobyl in the distance.

Lastly, some Pripyat YouTube:


  1. Anonymous10:19 AM

    This rules.

  2. dude those photos were so fascinating. thanks for sharing!

  3. Anonymous10:53 AM

    Reminds me of He is Legend. That would be a onforgetable time to explore that city.

  4. I had no idea. Truly amazing.

  5. Anonymous4:32 PM

    this must have been the city that was used for one of the missions in Call of Duty 4:Modern Warfare. The pool, ferris wheel, and hotel are exact matches

  6. Anonymous2:17 PM

    great photos! and yes it is the city used on cod4 im not sure if locations are correct but that whole mission is pretty accurate

  7. Anonymous7:52 PM

    Yes this exact place is used in Call of Duty 4, the apartments in the the second sniper mission and also in the multiplayer map bloc, but i never knew it was this fascinating

  8. Anonymous6:38 AM

    LOL i like how the last 3 people related it to call of duty.. i noticed the same thing.. but u cant denie it would be awsome to camp out and explore the abandon city... I wounder how hared it would be to get in?

  9. Anonymous2:21 AM


    fo CoD

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