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Blue Towel - Abandoned Power Plant in Poland, October 2019

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B W T

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Blue Towel #03


A forgotten turbine hall spared from vandalism. This is actually like Christmas morning for urbexers!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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:


 

Echo Seven

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Wow,Love this industrial stuff. A very natural look to the pictures.
 

Dirus_Strictus

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Actually a very common sight all over the industrialised world in the early 1900's. Back in those times, transmission of electrical power over long distances was very difficult - without power loss. So each major conurbation had its own power supplier; however these all had limited output and thus large factories always had their own power stations. Here in the UK, the formation of the Central Electricity Generating Board - (CEGB) on the Nationalisation of the Power Industries, eventually saw all the small town and city located generating plants disappear. I can remember in my early teens, being shown the small plant that supplied the power for the Doncaster trolley buses.
 

Ruggedscot

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Actually a very common sight all over the industrialised world in the early 1900's. Back in those times, transmission of electrical power over long distances was very difficult - without power loss. So each major conurbation had its own power supplier; however these all had limited output and thus large factories always had their own power stations. Here in the UK, the formation of the Central Electricity Generating Board - (CEGB) on the Nationalisation of the Power Industries, eventually saw all the small town and city located generating plants disappear. I can remember in my early teens, being shown the small plant that supplied the power for the Doncaster trolley buses.

Its the amps that cause all the grief.... if you take amps through a system you get a volt drop, and if your using electricity at 230v then all the volts are important. a house will take say 40 A a cable resistance of 1 ohm is going to waste 40v so that house will only get 190v... it all adds up though hence you had power stations close to the point of use. solve the issue with voltage and use transformers you can have your power stations a few hundred miles away...
 

FunkyMuffin

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Wow this is amazing. I just love industrial and this one is a beauty. Excellent write up as well.
 
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