Pripyat Elementary School Number 3

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Pripyat Elementary School Number 3 is located in the abandoned city of Pripyat within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. It is located next to the still impressive Lazurny Swimming Pool. There is very little information available about this school but it is one of the most photographed with its extensive collection of gas masks and was the location for the a stunning wildlife photograph of the year entry in 2019.

Key Points

  • Elementary School Number 3 is located in the centre of Pripyat, adjacent to the Swimming Pool
  • Hundreds of child-sized Russian gas masks are found in the main dining hall
  • The gas masks were boxed but have been stripped of their silver filter by looter and discarded
  • This is one of the more stable schools in Pripyat. While others have succumbed to the elements and looters this one remains fairly intact
  • The classrooms still have desks and equipment as well as some personal belongings
  • The industrial kitchen is still in place even if it is a little dusty and forgotten

Abandoned Pripyat Elementary School Number Three

The main doors to the school stand open, inviting those who wish to disobey the rules and enter the building. Even in the winter sunlight the welcome is warm and inviting. The reception to the school is ornate, a patterned screen runs in the sunlight, shadows dancing on the bare concrete floor.

The main hall, off the corridor is dark. Gas masks are strewn across the floor. A reminder of the Cold War fears of the city. They have been stripped of their silver filters and discarded. A chilling sight in what should be a place of calm and learning.

Beyond the hall is an an ornate staircase leading to the upper floor of the school and doors lead through to classrooms. These are strewn with the remains of learning. Desks and books are dusted in a fine coat of white. A collection of debris from years of neglect lies over the once new and vibrant classroom items, recognisable the world over.

Things to Look Out For At Pripyat Elementary School Number 3

  • The ornate screen in the reception area
  • Gas masks
  • Desks and classrooms with items still in place
clock and gas mask hanging on a wall
gas mask hanging from a ceiling in Chernobyl Exclusion zone
school books and tables in Pripyat

abandoned children's book
gas masks and doll
gas masks abandoned on the floor  of  Pripyat Elementary school
rusting door handle
Russian alphabet on a blue wall in an abandoned school
rusting cash pegister in Pripyat
DNA model
two gas masks next to each other

Photography Notes

Pripyat Elementary School number 3 has lots of options for photography but do remember that you must not enter the building however good the photographic opportunities appear. The building structure is deteriorating and some buildings are now collapsing. There is also dust that in places that is still contaminated.

Using a long lens and zooming in on objects makes it possible to take photographs through the windows. Details are important in this location and taking time to look at the toys and the classroom items scattered on the floor can bring a new dimension to the lives of these young people.

Places Near Pripyat Elementary School Number 3

How to Find Pripyat Elementary School number 3

The school is located on Sportyvna Street in Pripyat adjacent to the swimming pool.

It cannot be entered but it is worth exploring through the windows.

Visiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone can only be done as part of an organised tour.

Theses tours can be booked online and depart from Kyiv in Ukraine, about 2 hours drive from the first checkpoint into the Exclusion Zone.

Find out more about planning and booking a tour to the Chernobyl Exclusion zone

View tours to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and Book Here.. 

Read the Complete Guide to Visiting and Photographing the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone