Abandoned Kelenföldi Erőmű in Budapest

Kelenföldi Erm is an abandoned power plant in Budapest’s suburbs. Budapest’s electrification initiative began in the 1910s, and plant building began in 1913 to deliver electrical power to the grid for societal purposes. Kálmán Reichl and Virgil Bierbauer of Hungary developed and built the Kelenfoldi Eromu.

For the first few years, steam was produced in coal-fired low-pressure boilers, and electricity was created in two turbo generator units. New steam boilers and turbines were added in two stages between 1922 and 1943. Prior to WWII, 19 boilers and 8 turbines operated at 38 bar steam pressure.

In 1953, the power plant began supplying hot water and steam to industrial factories, and in 1958, it began supplying hot water to housing developments. The country’s first gas turbine began operation in Kelenföldi Erm in 1972, and various other adjustments were done to meet the heat supply demands of the time.

Natural gas fired power plants gradually displaced coal and heavy oil fired power plants in the 1980s. At this time, the 146-meter-high chimney at Kelenföldi Erm was erected. Kelenföldi Erm has undergone various stages of modernisation and capacity augmentation in response to changes in the energy demands of the neighboring areas. The new high-performance and cutting-edge gas-steam cycle unit of the power plant went into service in 1995.

In 2005, the control room and a portion of the power plant were decommissioned and partially abandoned. The remaining portion of the facility is still partially operational, delivering 4% of Hungary’s energy demand. Kelenföld provides those who want to see this attractive ancient ruin customized tours of the structure and surroundings. The Kelenföldi Erm is currently a protected building under Hungarian legislation, and it cannot be destroyed.

The abandoned main turbine hall is lined with antique, symmetrical machinery. The circular control room is the station’s most stunning room. Its circular interior and tin-can look, along with such unusual and inherent elements – even paper still loaded in the aged print slots – make it a must-see. Dials, switches, knobs, and hundreds of one-of-a-kind, fussy tiny buttons demand to be pressed. Check out these urbex images from inside an abandoned power plant.

Urbex Pictures

Know Before You Visit

Kelenföld Power Station tours are offered on an irregular basis throughout the year and are only available in Hungarian. Urbex tour guides may also provide a small printout in English with some basic information on the structure. The cost in 2022 is 2500 Hungarian Forints (8 Euros). The urbex trip is fully in Hungarian, however you are free to move off and explore if you do not wish to stand and listen. The trip lasts around 1-2 hours.

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