Lithuania in the spotlight: where Chernobyl TV hit was filmed

Lithuania in the spotlight: where Chernobyl TV hit was filmed

3 minutes to read

Dramatic and horrifically realistic HBO's "Chernobyl", recent television miniseries, overwhelmed the world with a detailed depict about the most significant humankind accident - the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 1986 in Ukraine. Five-part miniseries shocked the world with the realistic-looking footage of the Ukrainian city Prypiat, as well as the interior and exterior of the Chernobyl Power Plant. But did you know that Lithuania is the country where this TV fit was filmed? Actually, in Lithuania, it is not only possible to find a realistic-looking Soviet-style architecture but also visit the same looking atomic power plant as it was in Chernobyl. Lithuania is now in the spotlight, and if you are looking for filming locations of "Chernobyl" miniseries or wondering where the famous AZ-5 button is placed, Lithuania is the country to visit. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/Satephoto
Picture © Credits to iStock/Satephoto

Fabijoniškės as the Prypiat city

Prypiat was a city in Ukraine, and at that time, it was a modern idealistic Soviet place with grey, same-looking multi-dwellings. Even though Vilnius is today a fast growing European capital, the  Fabijoniškės district is the place where the Soviet spirit and an authentic architecture is still alive. Therefore, in HBO's miniseries "Chernobyl," the city of Prypiat and all the footage of playing Soviet children and evacuation was filmed in the Fabijoniškės district. So, if you wish to see the place that looks like Prypiat or travel back in time, stroll along the Fabijoniškės district, explore the grey city's architecture, and you will catch the spirit of the Soviet times.

Picture © Credits to iStock/Birute
Picture © Credits to iStock/Birute
Fabijoniškės district, Vilnius
Fabijoniškės district, Vilnius

The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant as the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

In the former Soviet Union, all the nuclear power plants had the same RBMK reactors. Thus, the same type of reactor that exploded in Chernobyl is still in the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, in Lithuania. Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is located in Visaginas and nowadays is under the decommissioning. However, the excursions for visitors in this power plant happen a few times per day. All the footage from the Chernobyl Power Plant (interior and exterior), HBO filmed in the Ignalina Power Plant. 

Picture © Credits to iStock/rootstocks
Picture © Credits to iStock/rootstocks

For the Chernobyl story enthusiasts, it is a bit difficult and dangerous to explore the authentic Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. However, if it is still on your bucket list, try to visit Ignalina as its power plant is the same as it was in Ukraine. Also, in Ignalina, the power plant is still standing, and all the reactorscontrol rooms and other premises look the same as a few decades ago. The legendary AZ-5 button, which is supposed to stop the reactor immediately, and in the Chernobyl Power Plant initiated the explosion, can be found in Visaginas. Moreover, the controller of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant looks the same as it was in Chernobyl. Thus, it is even possible to participate in the simulation of the power plant controlling. 

Picture © Credits to Wikimedia Commons/Naoto Kurihara
Picture © Credits to Wikimedia Commons/Naoto Kurihara
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant

Kaunas as Moscow

Besides the most screen-time taking scenes from Prypiat and the Chernobyl Nuclear Power PlantHBO also filmed some scenes in other parts of Lithuania. The shots from the Hospital No. 6 in Moscow, KGB prison and Valery Legasov's apartment were filmed in Kaunas. Scenes of volunteers washing the streets with chemicals in the Pripyat city were taken in the Kėdainiai city. Also, the "dead bridge," shown in the first episode, depicting the people watching the bright sky after the nuclear power plant explosion, was filmed near Kaunas, in the Petrašiūnai district

Picture © Credits to iStock/djedzura
Picture © Credits to iStock/djedzura

If you are wondering where to get the experience of controlling the nuclear power plant, where to explore the Soviet-style architecture or see the authentic RBMK reactor, the answer is clear - in Lithuania. HBO's TV hit "Chernobyl" was filmed in Lithuania showing its historical heritage and authentic experiences of the Soviet Era

Cover picture © Credits to iStock/Vladimir Zapletin

The author

Monika Grinevičiūtė

Monika Grinevičiūtė

I am Monika and I am passionate traveler, an engineer, books reader and desserts lover. I live in a beautiful and colorful country called Lithuania. I will use my Lithuanian superpowers to show you that this small Baltic pearl has much more than you can imagine

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