Dnipro’s rapidly falling population (from 1.3 million in the 1990s to around 900,000 today) is probably part of the reason there are so many abandoned buildings. One of the best-known attractions of Dnipro is urban exploration – you can find out more information by visiting the VK (think Russian Facebook) page https://vk.com/dneprzabr which has almost 2000 members.
NB: Poroshenko has banned Russian-owned VK, amongst other things, while I was writing this post. The site is now only accessible in Ukraine if you have a VPN.
Sicheslavska Naberezhna St, 5
More than 40 years since construction started on the Hotel Parus yet it has still not opened for business. Some blame the fall of the Soviet Union, others cite poorly managed funds. A popular rumour is that the foundations were sinking into the River Dnieper. After the collapse of the USSR, looters became rife and stripped the building of anything of value, including windows and doors from their frames, copper wiring and other building materials. The hulking form of Parus is a sad monument to the former glory days of Dnipro.
Apparently, you used to be able to bribe the guards to get in, but since a girl fell and died last year they’re not doing that anymore. Haven’t been able to fact check that story, but enough people have told me to make me not want to try it. To be fair, I didn’t even see any guards while I was there. It’s all fenced off with barbed wire and there’s not even a little house for them to sit in – not that I saw at least but I did put in about 1% effort into finding them.
Red Cross Hospital
Korolenka St, 20a
The Red Cross Hospital was built in 1910, and the Red Cross emblem is still visible on both of the street-facing facades. It was an active hospital throughout both world wars, and was one of the USSR’s leading medical facilities. After a period of rapid deterioration throughout the 1990s, the hospital was condemned in 2008 and left to nature. And the homeless.
I first found out about the abandoned Red Cross Hospital from Megan Starr’s post. She describes how some of the upper floors of the building had caught fire due to vagrants and squatters lighting fires. Unfortunately, in the short time between when Megan visited and when I was there, the building has completely collapsed. I was able to get through the gate (there are two dogs that are scary as fuck, even though they’re on chains – you’ve been warned) and the whole place is a hot mess. Megan also mentions an underground pharmacy that was in comparatively good condition and still housing unused medications (seriously, just go read her post so I don’t have to keep paraphrasing it). I didn’t see the entrance to it but unless it’s underneath the rubble I can only imagine it is still intact. Go and see for yourself. It’s worth walking past, there are still 2 exterior walls standing and you can see how the storeys inside have collapsed in on one another, which I found interesting.
What an interesting place! I grew up in Poland but have never been to Ukraine. The only memories of Ukraine I have is Chernobyl (I was a kid when it happened and everyone in the neighboring countries was panicking for good reason!). Did you feel safe visiting this city?
I’ve lived here for almost a year now and the first thing I tell everyone is how totally and completely safe I always feel here. I love Poland too, it’s so beautiful.
Very interesting piece. It is a shame to see a city losing population and seeing building become vacant and derelict. If you are adventurous, like you seem to be, it would be cool to explore these buildings but I doubt I could muster the courage to go inside.
Oh, this is an amazing post! I love the idea of exploring the abandoned places, and although I have not done it myself, but I always wanted to do it! Although I keep having the flashback of the movie ‘Hostel’ background places. Eek.
the Round The World Guys
Haha you have to be careful not to creep yourself out too much!! I’m more worried about disturbing a homeless person or falling through a rotten floor than of serial killers. Haha!
Found this post super engaging, Lara. I do a lot of similar exploration in India…love wandering down rundown streets and peeping into deserted, dilapidated buildings and try to conjure up vivid images of how the place must have looked before the pall of gloom fell over it.
Loved your blog as well, will definitely take out time to read more stuff here.
Thanks Ragini! I actually spent today trying to get into an abandoned Soviet tank factory – found out the hard way that it wasn’t abandoned… check back soon to see the full write up haha
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