kelenfold power plant control room abandoned budapest hungary

Visiting a Gem among Abandoned Industrial Locations

Kelenfold_12This semi-abandoned power station located in Hungary is a true gem among industrial locations and was once Europe’s most advanced power station. The control room itself has been abandoned for quite some time, but most parts of the location are still in use providing power to a major city nearby. Therefor me and my friends were only allowed to visit a fragment of the huge complex. Luckily enough this happens to be the most beautiful abandoned control room I have ever seen.

Kelenfold_11One of my recent articles, that has been shared by PetaPixel, received quite some negative feedback because of the processing of the photos in it. Even though some of the reactions were rather harsh I have to agree with most of them. I regret using photos that have been shot and processed in 2014 when I was still using Photomatix / tonemapping instead of re-processing them. Since 2015 I have changed a lot in my processing and I hope the pictures in this article, taken and processed last week, help to support that claim. I still have my own way of processing photos, which is a lot more ‘natural’ than two years ago in my opinion, and it remains a matter of taste whether you like it or not.

However, let’s dive into the history of this amazing building.



The control room is located in a power station that’s over a 100 years old. As mentioned above the power station is semi-abandoned as most parts of it are still in use (privately owned). On a regular day it supplies the major city nearby with 60%of the heating and hot water and 4% of Hungary’s total energy supply also comes from this power station. The main gas supply to this power station comes from Russia through Ukraine. In case it gets shut off, for whatever reason, the station has a liquid fuel-oil reserve on-site that can last for eight days.

Kelenfold_5In its early days the station was actually the first boiler house, first electricity supplier of the area and Europe’s first electricity exchange.

The most precious feature of the station is the amazing art-deco control room with a huge glass ceiling, which has been shut down around 2005. It has been designed by two architects around 1927 by Kálmán Reichl and Virgil Borbíro, and was constructed within 2 years. The control room is protected by Hungarian law shielding it from ever being torn down. Unfortunately, this also means the control isn’t being touched at all, thus also not being restored. The box-building, that looks like a small house, was actually built as a shelter for the workers in case the station would be bombed during WW II. That didn’t happen.

Kelenfold_1Nowadays the control room, and the other old parts of the station that are no longer in use, are often used in films and music videos. The most recent example I remember noticing the control room in is the movie ‘Spy‘, with Melissa McCarthy.

Visiting this beautiful location was great fun and I tried to capture a few photos outside of the control room in areas that we were allowed to see.




Below you can find a couple of other photos I made during my visit in this power station.Kelenfold_3Powerplant_10Kelenfold_9Kelenfold_6Kelenfold_7Kelenfold_8


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Freya Van Ermenreply
March 8, 2017 at 11:09 am

Beste Roman Robroek,

Ik ben een studente van UCLL en ben momenteel in Boedapest voor het bedrijf Santerra. Ikzelf vind verlaten gebouwen ook zeer mooi en u heeft zeer mooie foto’s gemaakt van zulke gebouwen. Santerra is op zoek naar oude verlaten gebouwen zoals fabrieken waar chemische producten gebruikt werden die de grond zo vervuild hebben dat het slecht is voor de gezondheid om ze zo te laten. Ik vroeg me af of u eigenaars kent van zulke oude verontreinigde gebieden of tips voor locaties van zulke gebieden. Dit bedrijf zou ze graag kopen en reinigen zodanig dat er nieuwe gebouwen kunnen komen die een nieuwe geschiedenis kunnen meemaken.

Alvast bedankt voor uw tijd en ik hoop snel iets terug te horen,

Freya Van Ermen

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