Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

This abandoned Cold War bomb shelter in Kaliningrad, Russia—photographed by Andrei Pep Novozhilov—looks horrible now. But even if it were new, surviving a nuclear holocaust in this claustrophobic space with 1,000 other humans sounds like a real nightmare—even worse than being vaporized.

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

From the moment you step through the blast-doors—specifically designed wide to admit a lot of people—you are entering into a confined, subterranean world with no natural light.

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare


Large corridors and communal living are very much the order of the day and with so many people together in such confined spaces it is hard to imagine that very much real intimacy would remain.

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare


Sleeping conditions are basic with rows of bunk beds extending down rooms that look little better than corridors. It is not easy to picture yourself here for a number of months or even years.

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

The facility appears to have been completely self-contained with diesel powered generators, fuel tanks, a ventilation system and seemingly miles of pipe.

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

It is curious to spot that a red telephone remained intact, even years after the facility was abandoned, presumably once ready for that doomsday call that thankfully never came.

Living in this nuclear shelter for 1,000 people looks like a nightmare

There are many other artefacts left behind that offer a glimpse of life underground, including oil lamps, civil defence instructions, unusual shaped hats, obligatory gas masks and a calendar from 2008 that perhaps dates the last occupancy.

Andrei Pep Novozhilov is a Russian photographer and urban explorer. You can follow him in his Livejournal or VK.


This is part of a series in which we are featuring futuristic, alien-looking or just plain awesome images of landscapes, cityscapes, and objects. If you are a photographer with such work, please drop me a line here.


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