Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

By Attila Nagy on at

There is a hidden industrial gem north of Lake Balaton, near Balatonfűzfő, Hungary, and when I say hidden I mean it. Because what else do you call the bare remains of a wartime power station 30 feet deep under the ground? I recently got a chance to bring my camera inside the haunting corridors of this long gone industrial complex.

Before the eerie photos, a little history here: the Gunpowder Factory of Fűzfő was established in 1921 with a hidden profile. This plant where gunpowder and explosives were made needed a reliable energy source, which could not be destroyed with airstrikes.

Just like underground hydroelectric power stations which are constructed by excavating the major parts from bedrock, the coal-powered station of Fűzfő was built under the forested surface of the nearby hills. Yes, a 43,056 square foot, two-storey coal-fired power plant was built under the ground. And it was providing 12 tonnes of steam per hour, and 1 Megawatt electricity from 1927 to 1972, eating 275,000 tons of coal per year.

In the 1960s the focus of the company became more and more civilian, as it produced organic chemicals, paints, solvents, pesticides and insecticides. The Nitrokémia Industry Settlement became one of the largest state-owned socialist industrial companies. After the end of communism in Hungary, since the beginning of the 1990s, the company's importance gradually eroded due to market losses and lack of development.

In the first years of the 21st century all production lines were either privatised or abandoned, and environmental clean-up was initiated. The power plant equipment was sold for scrap, and now the main halls and corridors, the rusty stairs and narrow gauge rails lie empty. Here is what remains from nearly a century of industrial use.

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

Inside the Caverns of Hungary's Abandoned Underground Coal Plant

(Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo)