Exploring Abandoned Soviet Cold War Missile Sites in Lithuania

with my free weekend here in Lithuania (usually something i don’t have when i workation, but thanks, Obama, for Memorial Day!), i’ve decided to rent a car and drive around to explore some abandoned Cold War sites the Soviet military left behind, via instructions left at Wikitravel.

i’m basing this weekend out of Kaunas and visited several SS-4 thermonuclear missile launch sites. there’s not much left now; the missiles were destroyed after a nuclear arms limitation treaty was signed by Reagan and Gorbachev. i’m old enough to remember those summits and the end of the Cold War and it amazes me that i was able to step inside missile hangars and bunkers that were so integral in the brinkmanship.

sidebar: lodging in Kaunas Kaunas City Hotel is relatively new and clean and incredibly cheap, with free parking and wifi. it’s located right on the main pedestrian street.

now, Mother Nature has taken over — and how, as you can see in the pictures below. these are all publicly-accessible sites, so anything of value is long gone, but you can explore crumbling buildings, walk through abandoned bunkers with peeling paint, and see where they kept the missiles. besides that, most of these locations are located in the middle of (gorgeous) forests, so if you’re an outdoors person, it’s a great excuse to get some fresh air. i couldn’t find anything very underground (except for bunkers that were made into hills) or any sort of control mechanisms (nor did i expect to), so temper your expectations. a few tips before some photos:

and now, some pictures! more, of course, on Flickr.

Karmėlava South

my thoughts at this first stop were, ‘wow, they actually stored and probably prepped thermonuclear missiles here.’ crazy.

Karmėlava North

i went inside my first bunkers at this location. just buck up and do it! 😀 (you’ll regret it if you don’t!) also, any pictures that look like they were taken inside a bunker well, were. i’m amazed at how well my camera’s flash did, especially considering it was pitch black in there.

Ukmergė South

lots of goodies here if you do a bit of snooping around!

Ukmergė North

a pretty big site, most of which have unmaintained paved roads, so no need to park and hike. there seems to be more piles of wood here than at other locations; there must be some upkeep i guess? or industry?


here are Google translations of the Russian on the beams in the third picture: (creepy to see language like this in actual print/use.)

Exit mobile version