Azure Swimming Pool “Lazurny” in Pripyat

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Pripyat Swimming Pool had a flourishing swimming team until the disaster at the nuclear power plant in 1986. It is now abandoned. The empty pool and silent basketball courts are an eerie reminder of this once thriving community.

Key Points

  • Built in the 1970’s as part of the development of Pripyat for the workers at the nuclear power plant
  • Impressive building with huge glass frontage
  • Continued to be used after the disaster by the liquidators
  • One of the last buildings to be abandoned. Was still in use until 1998
  • Swimming pool including diving boards and starting blocks remain
  • Basketball courts are eerie and silent
  • Best visited in winter when the building design can be seen properly.

Pripyat Swimming Pool

Until 1998 this pool was beautiful and in full use. Clean and inviting for the liquidators who were tasked with clearing the radioactive material from the city of Pripyat in Ukraine. But 12 years after the disaster, when the final liquidators left, it was abandoned along with the rest of the city. Built in the 1970’s as part of the development of Pripyat, the Azure Swimming Pool had huge glass frontage, diving boards as well as an active swimming team. Behind the pool, a sports hall was used for basketball and gymnastics.

Swimming pool is at 3 minutes 10 seconds

Azure Pool “Lazurny” in Pripyat Today

Today the pool is one of the cleanest places in the city in terms of radioactivity. The huge panes of glass are long gone and the pool stands empty and lonely. However, the starting blocks, the diving board and the changing rooms are still as they once were. Outside the modern 1970’s design is still evident and the iconic white clock sits on the highest point of the building. It features in the Pink Floyd Marooned video as well as numerous games including the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series and Call of Duty 4.

Things to Look Out For at Pripyat Swimming Pool

  • Large open windows
  • Iconic clock on the roof of the building
  • Diving boards, starting blocks and timer clock
  • Interesting mosses growing on the damp walls
  • Basketball courts
pripyat swimming pool building in the trees
diving boards at Pripyat swimming pool
swimming race blocks at abandoned swimming pool
Pripyat swim team sign
metal handle with yellow lichen

clock on a roof with blue sky behind
empty abandoned swimming pool
sunlight in Pripyat Swimming pool
abandoned basketball courts
gas mask hanging from a sign in Pripyat
pripyat pool then and now
diving boards and buildings outside at Pripyat swimming pool
deep end of empty swimming pool
abandoned swimming pool and changing rooms
green moss growing on a wall

Photography Notes

The swimming pool is another location which can be visited but is not advised by tour guides and should now just be viewed from the outside. If you do go in, be careful in the basketball courts as the floor is rotting and boards are dropping through in random places.

Visiting in the late afternoon during the winter is the perfect time to visit as the light filters through into the pool coating it in a lovely golden haze. In winter the trees are clear and allow for the windows to be appreciated fully. In the summer months the interior is darker and there is no concept of their size and the view to the surrounding buildings.

This is quite a difficult place to photograph as the whole area is hard to get into one frame. It is better to take a number of photographs focussing on different areas of the building. If you are using a phone or a wide angle lens then it is possible to show the whole of the pool in one shot.

Don’t forget to look at the smaller details. The mould on the walls, the graffiti and the swim team memories all make for interesting images.

Places in Pripyat close to the Swimming Pool

Visiting Pripyat Lazurny Swimming Pool

Pripyat Swimming Pool is in the centre of Pripyat and is reached from a rough road through a small area of scrub.

It is located within the Exclusion Zone, put in place after the nuclear disaster at the nearby power plant and is about 2 hours by road from Kyiv.

Visits to Chernobyl are only possible as part of a guided tour of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. These tours can be booked in advance and all depart from Kyiv.

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

Read more about Visiting and Photographing the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone