21.06.2018

Excursion to Chernobyl

Tourist route excursions to Chernobyl
     Description of the tourist route, inspection of amenities and monuments of the Chernobyl disaster, architecture and other iconic objects of the city of Chernobyl.

Photo and video

Chernobyl today
     While visiting the Chernobyl exclusion zone, an extreme tourist will surely visit the city of Chernobyl itself, after all, it is not only a reserve of Soviet life and lifestyle, but also a place where there are many interesting objects.

 

     During the excursion to Chernobyl, you can traditionally take pictures against the background of an archaic stele at the entrance to the city. Built in the 50s, it represents Chernobyl as a city of river transport, there was a large ship repair factory on the banks of the Chernobyl backwater, surrounded by symbols of Soviet well-being, and in the 70s, after the construction of the nuclear power plant began, a symbolic atom was mounted on top of the stele with orbitals, the then symbol of atomic energy.

 

Monuments of Chernobyl
     Passing by existing and half-dead enterprises that provide economic activities to the Exclusion Zone (management of hydraulic structures operation, construction and assembly department, motor transport facilities and the only gas station in the Zone where it is impossible to buy fuel for money, but you can only exchange paper tickets for the Soviet type) the group falls into the center of the city, which, with the exception of the memorial park, has remained almost unchanged since April 1986. The park-memorial built for the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident starts from the former city cinema converted into the Chernobyl Disaster Museum. Also specifically for them was built a monument "Star of Wormwood", in the form of a gloomy angel of the Apocalypse, made of rebar, blowing into the pipe and calling for the beginning of the end of the World. According to the historical interpretation, the name of the city Chernobyl is identical with the word “Wormwood”, as in Polissya the grass is called wormwood. Official science does not confirm that the city was named for wormwood, but some gloomy faces drew an analogy between the fall of the Wormwood star, one of the signs preceding the Apocalypse described in the biblical Revelation of Ioan the Theologian, from which “a third of the waters became bitter” and the Chernobyl catastrophe itself poisoned a huge region with radionuclides . Behind the statue of the Angel lies a ritual map of the Concrete Exclusion Zone, with candlesticks at the site of the resettled settlements, looking as a visitor to the Zone sees how the infamous Western radiation trail influenced its formation. Behind the map begins an alley of abandoned villages, in the form of road signs, with the names of all 52 currently abandoned places where unsuspecting peasants lived. On the alley there is a forerunner of modern social networks - a special mailbox with cells for individual abandoned villages, where former residents left letters to their neighbors and friends. The alley ends with a monument to Japanese twin-cities Hiroshima and Fukushima presented to Chernobyl, with origami cranes and nuclear fuel mock-ups.

 

     After a tour of the park, the visitor gets to the place, traditional for Soviet provincial architecture, to the administrative and cultural center of the city with the monument to Lenin at the head. If a Zone visitor arrives in any small city in the post-Soviet space, from Central Asia to the Far North, he will be able to notice one town-planning feature - all buildings are located around a monument to Lenin in a strict hierarchical order. On the right hand of a concrete or bronze Ilyich there is the main building of the city-city CPSU executive committee, the Administration of the Exclusion Zone is located in the former building of the Party Executive Committee in Chernobyl. On the left of the monument is the Palace of Culture, in Chernobyl, this is the rebuilt house of the Chernobyl Kagal, the house for public gatherings of local Jews in the nineteenth century. In the same Palace of Culture in July 1986, an "open" trial was held over the perpetrators of the Chernobyl accident, where the Soviet authorities accused the surviving personnel of criminal negligence. And in the face of the statues of the Leader of the world proletariat, there was always a KGB building, now the local branch of the SBU is located in an inconspicuous two-story building. Also, on the right hand of Ilyich there is a post office, in Chernobyl it is a huge communication hub built for the needs of nuclear power plants, and now used as the base of ARMS, an automatic radiation monitoring system.

 

     The law on decommunization did not affect the closed city, and old street names, such as Sovetskaya, Lenina, Kirov and Liebknecht, remained in it. On these streets, the tour will go through the Jewish part of the city, which is completely abandoned, past the once rich Jewish courtyards, past the former choral synagogue converted by the Communists into the military enlistment office in the direction of the Chernobyl backwater, the Pripyat River bay, where the shipyard was located, and now there is a ship graveyard. After the accident, tugs and self-propelled barges who carried huge quantities of building materials along the river to build a nuclear power plant and the city of Pripyat also carried materials for the needs of the liquidators and builders of the “New safe Confinement". After completion of the work, the entire river fleet was flooded in Chernobyl in order to create a dam separating the polluted upstream from the relatively clean Chernobyl backwater with its hulls. The territory of the city above it was covered with radioactive fallout after the accident and is still not used, for example, the city hospital because of this moved to the premises of the city school number 2 where it is now.


     On the street of Kirov is the city fire station where the most unique monument of the Chernobyl disaster stands. By the 10th anniversary of the accident, the former liquidators, station personnel and firefighters had built a monument on their own that would reflect not the official interpretation of those sad events, but would perpetuate the feat of those people whose role was minimized by the authorities. First of all, station personnel: dosimetrists, turbinist drivers, electricians, paramedics and others, who on the night of the accident took the brunt of the nuclear element. The monument was built in 1996 right by the walls of the fire station without the participation of professional artists and sculptors, by the hands of the participants in those events. In order to correctly depict the figures of firefighters and stationers, the authors used real equipment and equipment covered with a thin layer of cement. Building materials in the hungry 90s were also mined independently, or allocated by enterprises that took part in the work to eliminate the accident. Today, this national monument looks more expressive and perfect than any other monuments built at the expense of the budget.

 

Liquidation Technique
     On the outskirts of the city, in the direction of Pripyat, there is the State Agency for the Treatment of Radioactive Materials and the exposition of unique equipment created by him, which along with people took part in the liquidation work. This is primarily a collection of robots that worked in the most powerful radiation fields. The STR robot converted from the moon rover, industrial and police robots specially purchased in Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as primitive robots developed by Soviet civilian industry. In addition to these, there are also radio-controlled robotic loaders and liquidator equipment: automatic pouring stations for decontamination and armored vehicles for personnel transportation and radiation reconnaissance. All samples were taken from the burial grounds, thoroughly decontaminated, but still remained radioactive 30 years after pollution.


     Further, the road goes along the Pripyat River, past the road to the city of Slavutych, the heir of Pripyat, and past the bridge over the river, which offers a beautiful view of the nuclear power plant and the ship graveyard. Then the tour bus takes the visitor outside the city limits, to the border of the 10 km unconditional resettlement zone, at the Lelev checkpoint.
The city of Chernobyl is left behind, but it can still show the picturesque places of the local Hem, an abandoned ferry and industrial enterprises that delight the amateur post-apocalyptic landscapes.

     And our tour of the Chernobyl exclusion zone is moving in the direction of Pripyat ...