Soviet-Built City

Visaginis was built from scratch beginning in 1975 to house workers constructing and then employed at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.  If you look at a map of the town, it is clearly an exercise in urban planning — the layout is in the shape of a butterfly.  There are playgrounds and green spaces and collections of shops scattered throughout the high-rise apartment buildings that comprise the town.  The town has an unfinished feel to it due to quite a few unfinished buildings left standing.

The town’s population is primarily Russian-speaking.  As with most industrial projects in the Baltic Soviet republics, Russians workers were brought in to build and run the nuclear power plant.  Young people now learn Lithuanian in schools, but I had to dredge up my buried Russian language skills to communicate with older people.  While not exactly a tourist highlight in Lithuania, Visaginis is certainly an interesting place to visit.

This stone commemorates the founding of the city in 1975.


A typical late Soviet apartment building


An unfinished apartment building


About amanda

Creating academic and public environments for the humanities to flourish Researching Soviet and Eastern European history Engaging people and ideas as a writer and interviewer Traveling as much as possible View all posts by amanda

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