By Forgotten Productions
We are Forgotten Productions, Urban Explorers from Toronto,Canada.
We are looking forward to sharing our adventures with you all through photos and video footage. We try and bring a little bit of fun to exploring while still showing you everything that has been left behind in its current beauty.
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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.
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.
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 This increased reliability, as coal was steadily becoming more outdated and inefficient.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.
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.
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!
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!
As always if you've got this far, hope you enjoyed reading my report
A night in the Paris Metro
My first report for a while and I felt that my photos from each location wouldn't create a substantial enough report. Because of this I decided to compile them into a more lengthy post documenting the night in which we explored various sections of the Paris Metro. I hope you enjoy reading my story and seeing the images I managed to capture.
After arriving in Paris with @Letchbo for a short weekend break, we decided to begin our night of exploring by hitting a classic metro spot. Once we'd safely entered the area we wanted to photograph, we hid in an alcove for a short period of time. Patiently waiting for the end of service with front row seats to watch the last remaining trains hurl past us. As soon the service concluded for the night, we eagerly got our cameras out and started shooting. Fortunately we managed to grab a couple of decent photos before we heard what we presumed were track workers approaching nearby. We quickly concluded it was best to abort mission and keep moving ahead. Photographing sections of track as we progressed down the line, until we reached the next station and swiftly departed unnoticed. By the time we were back out above ground the night was still young and we headed onto our next location.
View of a train passing on Line 10
The double raccord
We'd visited this spot earlier in the year along with @Conrad and @DirtyJigsaw after visiting another of Paris' famous ghost stations. But when we arrived at this one, we noticed a large number workers across the tracks and decided to give it a miss. Fast forward to October, we thought try our luck again. My partner made his way over the fence but as I was about to climb in and join him, someone abruptly stopped me in my tracks.
The rather authoritative looking chap approached me and continued speaking to me in French (to which I didn't fully understand.) I politely explained we were English. He then proceeded to pull a badge out and clearly stated to me the word every urban explorer wants to hear on a night out exploring the metro.
That's when we thought the night had sadly come to a prompt conclusion. Fortunately for us after a brief discussion with us claiming to be photographing the canal, he decided to allow us to resume our business and once he was well out of sight we made our way straight in.
Onto a bit of history, Arsenal station was officially opened in 1906 and is located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. In addition to this, it is also situated on line 5 between the Bastille and Quai de la Rapée stations. After 33 years of operation, it was closed in 1939 at the start of the Second World War. This was due to French resistance members allocating the area as an ammunition depot. Once Paris had been liberated from German forces August of 1944, a battle more commonly known as Battle for Paris and Belgium. It was decided reopening Arsenal would be inefficient. This was on account of its close proximity to neighbouring stations which limited the flow of passengers. For 75 years the station has been largely abandoned aside from graffers, urban explorers, photographers and avid thrill seekers, such as ourselves.
Once we'd grabbed a few shots of the abandoned Arsenal Station, we continued photographing another small section of track further down the line. It was quite photogenic and was a welcomed bonus to what had already been a predominately successful night for the both of us.
Before long the morning was fast approaching, coinciding with the threat of the service resuming. We reluctantly called it a night, making our way out and back to our accommodation, covered in metro dust and feeling pretty relieved we managed to pull it all off after a few close encounters.
As always if you got this far, thanks for reading
Mineral Springs Bath House
The construction of the Mineral Springs Bath House began in 1907. This was in order to bring in more tourism and wealth into the area. The town it was built in was an excellent location to host a bath house, as it was well known for it's rich mineral water sources which was believed to have medicinal properties. During the start of the 20th century mineral baths were a very fashionable and popular leisure activity. It took 3 years to build, with the help of local residents and neighbouring villages. It was finally unveiled with a ceremony in 1911.
The materials which were used for the interior were designed in Vienna, France and Belgium and it was the most expensive healing bath in Bulgaria at that current time. Typical to most bath houses, it was separated into two sections, one for the men and another for the women. Both areas accommodated for it's visitors with a large circular pool, changing rooms and 10 bathtubs. The baths also provided central heating facilities, the main parts of the building were kept consistently at 15°C, the changing rooms at 28°C and the baths themselves were 32°C. The bath house was also equip with a clinic, admin offices and a large laundry room.
Sadly the Mineral Springs Baths eventually closed in 2001, due to the decline in interest and popularity along with the lack of investment by the local government.
If you've got this far, thanks for reading
The Peppermint Powerplant was built in conjunction to a nearby paper mill with the purpose of supplying electricity to it. The plant features a stunning peppermint colour scheme on the singular turbine and control panels. The turbine itself was produced by Siemens, a company established in 1904 in Berlin and is currently one of the most prominent manufactures of high powered gas turbines worldwide. In addition to this the power station also hosted two Steinmüller boilers. One of which was commissioned in 1954 and the other in 1965. Both the power station and the paper mill were decommissioned around 1999. From what we could see the paper mill had been stripped and looked quite bare. Despite being closed for nearly 20 years the power station has remained in very nice condition.
(Excuse the awkward handheld shot)
(Getting pretty dark by this point so we called it a day)
Hope you enjoyed reading my report.