“The next location will be even better!”
Those were the words Maxim used to lure us away from the absolutely amazing Hospital No 126. We hopped into the van and drove to the other end of Pripyat to see… an abandoned factory. Wait. What? A factory? Seriously? A factory? Better than a hospital? No way!
Please don’t get me wrong: The Jupiter Factory was awesome! I’ve never been to an electronics factory that big. But in the end it was just a factory… one of the most common abandoned places in the world. And not even nearly as fascinating to me as Maxim hoped it would be. But I’m not into First Person Shooters whereas a lot of people visiting the Zone Of Alienation are. And for them the Jupiter Factory is one of the highlights since it was a setting in the game “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat” by GSC Game World – one of the most popular FPSs of the last couple of years.
We entered the Jupiter Factory, one of the biggest employers in Pripyat, through the main gate and passed by some administration buildings. Since the site is located at the western city limit of Pripyat nature is taking over the area rather quickly. The streets on the premises were partly overgrown with climbers, some of them even seemed to be some kind of grapes. None of us tried them though, for obvious reasons.
The assembly halls were absolutely impressing – huge constructions with all kinds of machinery still in there. The walls displayed dozens of warning posters and the workbenches were covered with tools and instruction manuals. But like with so many other places in Pripyat there is hardly any reliable information about the Jupiter Factory. It’s known that the plant produced tape-recorders and other consumer products under the label “Mayak”, but of course there are also unconfirmed speculations. Rumors about secret military research and stuff like that in underground laboratories. But since the basement is flooded nowadays it only adds to the mystery…
Which makes me wonder why nobody really tried to write a comprehensive book about Pripyat, at least not in English. Every tiny town in Europe has a local historian that knows every little thing about the surrounding 25 km2 – but Pripyat? It’s surprisingly hard to find reliable information about the city… (I’d love to do it, but with no knowledge of Russian / Ukrainian I don’t think I’d get far.)
Anyways, if the Jupiter Factory would have been my first urbex exploration ever I’m sure I would have been completely blown away and could have spent hours there. Even now that I’m back home I wish I had a place like that nearby. It would be worth to write several postings about it and I could come back at different seasons and during different weather conditions. But when I explored the place I was rather underwhelmed, especially since I had to leave the hospital in a hurry…
(If you would like to know more about my trip to the Zone Of Alienation please *click here* to get to the “Chernobyl & Pripyat” special. For a map of the area please *click here*.)