The wave of interest to Vilnius after Chernobyl series is growing

Chernobyl’s shoot in Vilnius ©Sky UK LtdHBO
Chernobyl’s shoot in Vilnius ©Sky UK LtdHBO Episode 02 Unit Stills

The HBO series Chernobyl, which has captivated viewers around the world this past month, has inspired a massive wave of interest. Not only in the location where the nuclear catastrophe occurred 33 years ago but also the locations where the series itself was filmed. This is an excellent opportunity to present Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, where more than two-thirds of the series was filmed.

“The topic of Chernobyl is painful, shocking and once more reminds us of the cruelty of the former occupation. It is already history, however, the real mission of this series to highlight the topic of Chernobyl and the Soviet system’s lies, oppression and sacrifice of human beings – it will linger for a long time and I hope it will help humanity avoid similar mistakes. Vilnius also has its own mission on this path – to become the visual space of this series, where city guests can travel back in time. Cinema tourism is extremely popular around the world and we hope that the Chernobyl series will increase Vilnius’ exposure in the world,” Vilnius city Mayor Remigijus Šimašius said in a Go Vilnius press release.

Film famous for its authenticity

Viewers were captivated by the thorough and authentic recreation of the atmosphere in the film, this includes costumes, interior details, cars, and locations. Chernobyl was filmed in the Lithuanian capital for 60 of its total 88 days. Filming was performed in Fabijoniškės and Justiniškės suburbs, in the Occupation and Freedom Fights Museum, the Ministry of Interior Culture Palace, VGTU Architecture Faculty, the former cabinet guest house, and other locations.

Chernobyl’s shoot in Vilnius ©Sky UK LtdHBO
Chernobyl’s shoot in Vilnius ©Sky UK LtdHBO Episode 02 Unit Stills

According to the Vilnius tourism and business development agency Go Vilnius director Inga Romanovskienė, in recent days, a massive wave of interest has been felt – foreigners are inquiring where exactly in Vilnius the series was filmed, foreign news media is writing about cinema projects being created in the city. Efforts are being made for Vilnius to enter the horizons of film lovers.

“We are actively advertising Vilnius in foreign news media and social networks because the film’s content is being discussed in the world and it is important to us that Vilnius would reach their radars. Over a couple of days, the special section of the Vilnius tourism website dedicated to the Chernobyl series has been visited by thousands of users – mostly from the UK, Poland, USA, and other countries. The information we have presented has already reached more than 300 thousand social media users around the world,” I. Romanovskienė said.

Travel agencies are getting ready for the ‘Chernobyl’ tourists

According to her, the aim is to encourage the tourism business to also make use of the interest. Next week, Go Vilnius will, together with the Vilnius Cinema Bureau, organise a presentation of the project to travel agency representatives so that they could create excursions and sightseeing tours based on Chernobyl, make other creative uses of the famous series.

“Vilnius, as seen in this series, is not the classical tourist Vilnius, which foreigners are accustomed to. It is one of the many faces of the capital alongside other historical epoch layers that remain in the city. Variety and multi-culturalism are strengths of Vilnius. This is just one of the reasons why the city interests increasingly many world-famous cinema creators,” Vilnius Cinema Bureau head Jūratė Pazikaitė said.

Cinematic Vilnius

For those interested in famous foreign films created in Vilnius, together with the Vilnius Cinema Bureau, Go Vilnius has prepared a special publication Vilnius On Screen, which presents films shot in the city over the past four years. Among them you find Chernobyl; also the new HBO series including famous British actress Helen Mirren Catherine the Great, which will reach our screens in autumn; the BBC series War and Peace, which was filmed a few years ago and others. The Vilnius cinema guide can also be read for free online.

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  1. As a retired American living in the Baltics, I am impressed with the HBO miniseries and enjoyed every minute of each episode.

    My sincere congratulations to all concerned and I am most impressed with the role taken by Lithuanians in the making of this special.

    Concerning the Chernobyl catastrophe, what fascinates me is the tightrope balance between Truth and lies and what kind of truth (mixed lies) were told to the public.
    From time code 56 minutes of episode 5 the following…
    FOOD for Thought….
    … because of our secrets and our lies they are practically what define us … when the truth offends, we lie and lie until we can no longer remember that it is even there but it is still there. Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth and sooner or later that debt is paid.

    Other POWERFUL words: In 2006, Mikhail Gorbachev wrote that the nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl … “was perhaps the true cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union”

    What also worries me is the parallel with what happened in the Soviet Union in 1986 and what is happening in Washington DC now.

  2. Hi, my name is Mary and I am a mother who tragically lost my daughter to the cherynoble nuclear explosion and ended up with cancer. I was overseas on tour with the Canadian armed forces from 1985-1990 in Germany working as a security guard Peace keeping when the explosion happened. I was pregnant with my first child. The forces admitted me into the German hospital to abort without my consent, the German Dr was angry and tried to save my baby with surgery while in the womb for several months. Three attempts and then I was forced to go into labor at 32 weeks and my daughter died. I’ve lived in silence for 33 years with no help and today I find all this information as my three adult children need to know their history as well. In memory of my daughter and all the babies that died RIP. While I was admitted the three months I must say it was quite devastating to hear the cries by so many moms as I watched them suffer saying goodbye to their infants as they were raised to the sky as our angels in disguise.
    Mary Kovacs and Neveah Sarah Auld August 29,1986 RIP Surviving Brother Cameron July 11,1987 and sisters Nicole Dec 15,1988 and Ashley Aug 29, 1990 four years to the day her sister passed.

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