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Hungary Kelenföld Control Room - March 2019

obscureserenity

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History

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Kelenföld Power Plant is located in Budapest and was originally established in 1914, in conjunction with Hungary's electrification program. It was known as one of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced throughout Europe and supplied electricity to the entire capital.  The site itself featured the first boiler house as an electrical supply building in the city. Between 1922 and 1943 the plant underwent two extension phases which introduced 19 modernised steam boilers and 8 turbines. These were operated at 38 bar steam pressure and transferred the increasing demand for electricity through 30 kV direct consumer cables. The equipment used was considered state of the art at the current time and was all produced by Hungarian manufacturers. By the 1930s the facility contributed to 60% of Budapest's heating and hot water which made up 4% of the country's overall energy supply. ​

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The infamous Art Deco control room, also known as 'Special K' was completed in 1927, after two years of construction. Designed by notable architects Kálmán Reichl and Virgil Borbíro, because of this, it's listed as a  protected site under Hungarian law and cannot be restored or destroyed. The Kelenföld control room is widely acclaimed as one of the most stunning monuments of industrial art. It uniquely explores the boundaries between functionality and grandeur, featuring a decorative oval skylight alongside the retro style green panels, hosting a range of buttons, dials, and gauges. Once the Second World War had begun, a small concrete shelter was added for the employees. This was due to the ornate glass ceiling,  as it was considered to be a target during the bombing raids in the city.​

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By 1962 the plant was modernised again with accordance to the heat supply demands of the capital. The existing condensing technology was replaced with back pressure heating turbines and hot water boilers. This increased reliability, as coal was steadily becoming more outdated and inefficient. In 1972 gas turbines with a capacity of 32 MWe were integrated into the plant and were the first to be put into operation throughout Hungary. In 1995 another redevelopment phase was initiated which provided the power station with a heat recovery steam generator and later on in 2007 a water treatment plant was established. The control room itself was closed in 2005, since then it has been featured in a few well-known films such as the Chernobyl Diaries and World War Z. Other areas of the site remain active through private ownership, with buildings still providing power to Budapest.​

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Our Visit

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We arrived in Budapest feeling cautiously optimistic, we had other locations on our agenda for the weekend but Kelenföld was a significant reason for our visit. It's something I've wanted to see since I started exploring a couple of years ago and failure was not an option for us. We had 3 days and therefore 3 attempts (at the minimum) to access it. Fortunately for us, we managed to get in the first time around and we couldn't have really asked for a better way to kick off the trip. ​

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Once we made it inside the plant we found ourselves lost in a maze of locked doors and sealed off sections. Understandably they wanted to make it as difficult to get into the control room as possible. Whilst searching we heard the familiar sound of nearby footsteps and radio so we quickly found a decent spot to hide. "We have to keep moving, if we stay here we'll get busted," I said to my exploring partner, after a handful of excruciating minutes, listening to them steadily get closer and so we pressed on. Without giving too much away we managed to find our way to the main spectacle and were instantly blown away by it's immense beauty. So without further ado, onto the photos!​

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Unfortunately, with the security guard on the hunt for us we decided to bounce before getting caught ((more so my other half than myself.) As much as I would have loved to stay, I didn't argue. Means we have an excuse to go back! ​

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As always if you've got this far, hope you enjoyed reading my report :)  ​

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AndyK!

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I love this place so much! Wonderful shots ?

:comp

 
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The_Raw

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Awesome photos! No other place quite like it

 

MIMI 25

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Do you have to give the real name and location? !!!!

 

The_Raw

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Do you have to give the real name and location? !!!!

It's probably the best known location out there. It's hardly a secret is it??

 

The_Raw

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It's just one more site for which you give the location ..........

It's been all over the internet for years and it's still in amazing condition, so what difference has that made? Please enlighten me

 

MIMI 25

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It is in good condition because it is protected but it is not the case of other sites

 

Dubbed Navigator

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@MIMI 25 - understand where you are coming from, but if you put "power plant budapest" into google the entire first page is littered with the exact name. We very much appreciate sensitivity for sites that do need it, this doesnt seem to be one of those considering the condition it still is in.

Great report this, awesome location.

 
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obscureserenity

obscureserenity

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It is in good condition because it is protected but it is not the case of other sites
Other sites aren't relevant and like @The_Raw said, it's not exactly top secret. Every man and his dog knows about this place. If I was to codename it as 'Special K' it would still be very easy to find online and is also quite distinctive. Of course on the forum, keeping the locations posted on here safe from vandals is one of our highest priorities and a responsibility we all share as explores. I'm sorry to hear you feel that way but in this case we didn't think it was necessary to include a codename for this location.

 

Andy

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The control room is really impressive, great shots! I will finally go there in the summer too, on my way to a two-week trip through Hungary, Romania and Serbia (already my 13th trip to Romania  :)  ).

 
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obscureserenity

obscureserenity

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The control room is really impressive, great shots! I will finally go there in the summer too, on my way to a two-week trip through Hungary, Romania and Serbia (already my 13th trip to Romania  :)  ).

Thank you :) Nice! If you need any help regarding access feel free to drop me a pm and have a good trip! 

 
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KPUrban_

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That place is spectacular. I want to go back there, the long hallways where the transformers where are brilliant.

 
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