Rooftops of Pripyat, Chernobyl
I'm a bit of a rooftop junkie and of course whenever I visit Pripyat in Chernobyl, I always have to go straight to the top of all the buildings. The view of Pripyat from the tallest buildings is amazing and it's only from here that it's possible to really visualise the size of this abandoned ghost city.
When I visited in 2014 I managed to see more rooftops and even better views than ever before as I spent 4 days in the zone and almost 3 full days in Pripyat. I explore Pripyat with 2 mottos, take only pictures, leave only footprints and climb everything!
Dangers Of The Buildings
It has to be noted that these buildings were evacuated in 1986 and since then none of the buildings have ever received any maintenance. As more time passes, more building collapse and of course it's dangerous to be in any of the buildings throughout the Chernobyl zone.
Rooftops Are The Most Radioactive
For the most of Pripyat the background radiation is very low and it is mostly no different than the usual background radiation one would expect in any western city. Though when you get up onto the rooftops of Pripyat the background radiation is generally much higher and the rooftops remain some of the most radioactive parts of Pripyat. The reason for this may be because even today the rooftops have never been cleansed, like the rest of Chernobyl was.
While on top of the hospital roof I measured the radiation given from a lump of moss to be 11.21 μSv, this is more than 80 times greater than the background radiation we receive in the UK. It's probably a good idea not to sit too close.
Best Views Of Pripyat
Some of the best views of Pripyat can be seen from the rooftops close to the centre square. From the top of the Hotel Polesia, Palace of Culture and Shopping Centre you can see the wildly overgrown square, with each view having its own unique backdrop.
16 Story Rooftops
Close to the main square is one of seven 16-story buildings in Pripyat, standing approximately 85 metres high. Looking towards the centre from here and you can see a great view of central Pripyat with a nice view of the Ferris wheel, located behind the Palace of Culture.
12 Heroiv Stalinhradu Street is another 16-story building, located in District 5 of Pripyat. Directly behind here is the Sports Stadium, though it's hard to see this with the huge natural growth and a better view is of the identical mirror image building of 9 Heroiv Stalinhradu street.
Swimming Pool View
The swimming pool in Pripyat isn't very tall and so the view from the roof is not the greatest, however from the top of the apartment block of 17 Sportivnaya Street an excellent view can be seen of the swimming pool building, a view which I've never seen online before.
Pripyat Hospital Rooftop
Like the swimming pool building, the Hospital rooftop is not very high and the surrounding trees shield any possible view. But going to the rooftop of 15 Friendship of the Nations Street and a great view of the hospital with the reactor lined up directly behind can be seen. The words on the top of the hospital read For the Health of the Nation, ironic with the view of reactor 4 in the background.
While on this trip, maintaining my climb everything motto, I took a trip to Duga, a top secret Soviet radar station in the Chernobyl zone, built to listen to the west. While the height of the tallest 16-story building in Pripyat is 85 metres, the height of Duga is approximately 150 metres and the view from the top was phenomenal - Climbing Duga.