24 Mysterious And Chilling Pictures Of Abandoned Buildings From The Soviet Union
British photographer Rebecca Litchfield travelled across the former USSR to capture these remarkable images of decaying public buildings in deserted towns. Taken from the book Soviet Ghosts.
Pripyat in Ukraine, near the Chernobyl power plant, was abandoned after the disaster in 1986.
Pripyat’s Hospital No. 126 consists of five large buildings, each of them six storeys high.
After the town was abandoned, doctors left medical equipment, beds, bottles, babies’ cribs and other equipment to rust.
The town had three indoor swimming pools, two sports stadiums, 35 playgrounds, 15 primary schools, five secondary schools and a technical college.
There are several kindergartens in Pripyat, still full of toys and with beds still made, among the gas masks that were designed to protect the children in the case of a chemical attack or disaster.
Pripyat’s Luna Park, with its Ferris wheel and bumper cars, was scheduled to open as a part of the May Day celebrations in 1986.
A tuberculosis hospital in Russia lies empty.
The trip to Russia to take these photographs wasn't a simple affair.
But she says she's not trying to make any political points about the Communist era.
Many Soviet-era cinemas lie abandoned throughout Russia.
Poland is also full of abandoned buildings from the Communist era – such as this hospital.
Skrunda was a secret town in Latvia, housing a Soviet radar station designed to monitor all of Western Europe.
Although its location was kept secret, eventually it became a residential town with 60 buildings, including a gym, a school and a theatre.
Latvia has several abandoned radio telescopes, such the two left at Irbene, Cold War relics from a time when intercepting Western satellite signals was a top priority.
The entire area was once forbidden – people needed to seek special permission to visit Irbene and its surrounding towns.
This is the swimming pool at the Soviet Union's headquarters in Germany. Trains ran daily from here and Moscow.
It was built by the Germans but took over by Russia on 20 April 1945, with fighting leaving some 120 dead.
There were 800 people living here by 1953 and as many as 30,000 soliders and 75,000 civilians in the surrounding area.
This mural still stares out from the wall of a Soviet pilot school in what was the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany.
Milovice in the Czech Republic has been a military site since the early 1990s, in the hands of Czechoslovakia, Germany and then the Soviets, who took control in 1968.
The Soviet monument at Mount Buzludzha is the largest of its kind in Bulgaria.
The structure was abandoned in 1989 and then gifted to the state in 1991. It's been stripped of its valuable materials.
There was once a tower 70 metres tall, topped with a huge star made of red glass, designed to be three times bigger than the star at the Kremlin.
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