Blue Towel by Tobi_urbex #03
This forgotten power plant completely frozen in time is all that’s left of one of Poland’s largest factories. After 150 years of operation, it was abandoned only a short time ago. Today, the well-guarded premises can look back upon a diverse past. This was even used as a death camp of the Nazis once.
Blue Towel #01
Here we wanted to see the remains of an undisclosed landmark that was known in Poland and the whole world. But today, only a few buildings of a once massive industrial site are left. Most of the halls are deserted for years. A century ago, the factory was at its height. 4,000 people were working here at that time. Textiles of all kinds were produced here and shipped internationally. The factory was mainly known for its well-crafted towels. The plant was founded in the middle of the 19th Century by a German businessman. The young enterprise took off immediately. It grew that fast because competitors and bankrupt companies were bought up. Only World War One could stop the dynamic development. It took another 100 years until the major factory was forced to close down.
Blue Towel #06
Today, some parts of the vast premises are sold and reused. New companies settled here. A lot of the historical architecture was preserved. But other buildings on the site are still abandoned. And we were particularly interested in this one. This is the former electrical plant of the factory. The company needed so much energy that it was necessary to build its own powerhouse. But it is decommissioned since the closure of the factory.
Blue Towel #03
A forgotten turbine hall spared from vandalism. This is actually like Christmas morning for urbexers!
Blue Towel #02
This compound was only abandoned in recent years and it is usually guarded really well. This explains the pristine condition of all the equipment.
Blue Towel #04
During its recent years of operation, the building complex was used as a block-type thermal power station. So, not only electricity was produced here but also heat. Take a look at the turbine hall and it is obvious that it was decommissioned just recently - five years ago, as a matter of fact. But if we then go back to the taller building, the boiler house, it seems like a completely different stage of decay. We wonder if they were abandoned at the same time.
Blue Towel #09
Let’s just get back to the history of the factory for a moment. During the time of Nazi occupation, the vast premises became a sub-camp of Auschwitz concentration camp. At first Jews and prisoners of war were detained, later female foreigners were brought here for compulsory labor. Too many of them were killed or died because of difficult working conditions. Luckily, the Soviet troops were ending this. But after the liberation, they stole many machines and factory equipment. It took a while to rebuild the destroyed halls but after some years it was flourishing again like during its prime. However, after the political changes at the end of the Cold War, the factory was privatized. Of 1,500 employees in 1990, not even 150 in total were still working here 20 years later. It was a complete collapse that ended with bankruptcy in 2010. The brand was sold to another company but the factory was abandoned. The decommissioning process took several years. In 2014, it was all over.
Blue Towel #11
Today, it seems like the next shift could start at any moment. And maybe, this could be even true. More and more buildings of the vast factory find a new purpose. Also, the power station was sold. The new owner wants the plant to start operating again. His idea is to use agricultural waste as combustible, such as wheat straw purchased from local farmers. This is an ecological fuel. But the powerhouse is situated near the city center. Residents are signing petitions and getting ready to protest. They do not want an active power plant right next to them. But no one really has another idea how to use this structure which is part of a former well-known landmark. And in fact, this is one of the last original buildings here. So, when it can't be part of the future why not let it be reminiscent of the past?
Blue Towel #07
If you are interested in seeing more of the power plant frozen in time, make sure to watch our road trip report on YouTube: