Vilnius: Pripyat

Lithuania: ChernobylVilnius: Pripyat

ChernobylFilm Location

Lithuania proved to be the perfect destination to film HBO's hit miniseries Chernobyl. The country's Soviet heritage is still evident in the capital of Vilnius, where the Fabijoniskes district stood in for the now uninhabitable Ukrainian town of Pripyat.

The Soviet Union recognised Lithuania's independence in September 1991, but signs of the communist era are still evident, particularly in the city's architecture.

The river Nevis flows through the middle of Vilnius.

The river Nevis flows through the middle of Vilnius.

But it's not all concrete block architecture in Vilnius. The gorgeous historic centre has UNESCO World Heritage status and dates back to the early 14th century.

Of the 88 filming days on Chernobyl, 60 were spent in various parts of Vilnius, including some of the cobbled streets around the old town.

Filming for Episode 4.

Filming for Episode 4.

If you want to know more about Vilnius, be sure to check out the city's comprehensive travel website.

Key Scenes

Fabijoniskes District: Pripyat

Built around the time of the Chernobyl catastrophe in the late 1980s, the Fabijoniskes district is dominated by dozens of Soviet-style apartment blocks. The location perfectly matched the creative brief given to the location scouts: a symmetrical district with aggressive lines, all made of grey concrete. In addition, the setting needed to be free of surrounding trees so as not to obscure the buildings.

All the big crowd scenes of the evacuation of Pripyat were shot along the district's Staneviciaus Street.

Prypiat also served as the headquarters for the disaster response team which was managed by Minister Boris Shcherbina (Stellan Skarsgård) and Deputy Director of the Kurchatov Institute Valery Legasov (Jared Harris).

Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights: The KGB Prison

This highly popular museum functioned as a KGB prison under Soviet rule, including a number of prison cells and torture chambers which remain unchanged since the KGB agents departed in 1991. Apparently, the furniture here was used in the miniseries.

Former Cultural and Sports Centre, Ministry of the Interior: Pripyat Hotel Restaurant

A beautiful representation of Soviet modernist architecture, this building was the set for the Pripyat hotel restaurant. The unforgettable scene in which the three divers are selected was also filmed inside. The centre operates as a community event space, so only the lobby is open to the general public. Still, it's worth checking out, even if its just for the Soviet-era wall decorations.

Built in 1982, much of the furniture is still intact, including an authentic bar with a period coffee maker.

Built in 1982, much of the furniture is still intact, including an authentic bar with a period coffee maker.

Watch

Map

You can find the exact locations under the following addresses:

  • Fabijoniskes district: the area around Staneviciaus Street
  • Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights: Auku Street 2A
  • Former Cultural and Sports Centre, Ministry of the Interior: Zirmunų Street 1E

Travel Tips

25 kilometres West of Vilnius lies the Trakai Historical National Park with its many lakes and the famous Trakai Island Castle.

Trakai Castle

Trakai Castle

For more travel information, head to Travel Lithuania's official website.

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