top of page

Exploring an abandoned Soviet pioneer camp in Armenia

This abandoned pioneer camp in Armenia is the best-preserved location of its kind that I've ever encountered. A visit to this camp will allow you to discover the striking relics, from majestic reliefs to statues of iconic characters like Buratino and Medz Mher.
The real gem awaits at the well-preserved swimming pool with mesmerizing mosaics. Join me on an unforgettable urbex journey as we unveil the mysteries of Armenia's Soviet past.

In Soviet times, there were 200 pioneer camps in Armenia, but after the collapse of the Soviet Union, only about 10 of them managed to survive. These pioneer camps were mainly located outside the cities, nestled in the woods. Today, these once vibrant places have become abandoned, with thick bushes overgrown around them, making them perfect for urban explorations.

Let’s explore the best one!

"Fairy-tale" camp was one of the best pioneer camps in Armenia, which was founded in 1975 and operated until 1993. It is located near Spitak city, on the way to mount Nzhuyg (Steed).



The first thing you notice when approaching the gates is this majestic relief


Needless to say that the camp suffered from the 1988 Armenian earthquake (Spitak earthquake) as well! Though after the earthquake it still operated but then the collapse of the Soviet union landed another blow! Short time later the camp was closed!


Thanks to a historical photo I learned that there were more statues in here! Now only Burtino and Malvina are standing! I guess you know that Buratino is the main character of Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy's 1936 book "The Golden Key, or the Adventures of Buratino", which is based on Carlo Collodi's 1883 Italian novel "The Adventures of Pinocchio". A 1959 animated feature film by Soyuzmultfilm made the characters very popular in Soviet Union!


The statue of Medz Mher, a character from Armenian heroid epic poem “Daredevils of Sassoun”. Medz Mher used his inhuman strength and with his bare hands killed a lion, that had invaded Sasun, blocking the road leading to the wells and almost starving people.


The statue of Stepan Shahumyan who was an Armenian Bolshevik revolutionary and politician active throughout the Caucasus.



The pearl of this pioneer camp is definitely the swimming pool which has lots of pretty well preserved mosaics!


It was the end of June 2020 when I went for my first exploration! Pshychologically it was difficult to go for an exploration alone, but I managed to overcome my fear! Took a Marshrutka (routed taxicab usually a van) from Yerevan and started my hike from the center of Spitak city! Like an hour later I was in the camp and started exploration! I made a detailed video check it out, please!



Project Gallery

bottom of page