The Black Turbines were the workhorses of an early hydroelectric power plant in Italy.
From time to time you stumble across a place that you simply must visit. I don’t think it’s just me that experiences this, and not just urban explorers either. I think everyone at some point notices something or somewhere that they will drop everything in order to see, whether that be a place, a view, a historic monument, a show, or whatever floats your boat. The Black Turbines was one of mine!
Built in 1909 these hydroelectric turbines are old and beautiful. Embodying all the charm and character that was incorporated into the design of industrial equipment from that period this historic site is worth protecting. And protected, it is… Some signs of restoration are visible, so it looks like the future of this glimpse of the past is secure.
The building consists of a single turbine hall, unassuming from the outside straddling an Italian river. The Brown Boveri turbines themselves really are something special, employing a vertical design to allow them to be driven by hydro power. The power plant forms part of a larger complex that has a cotton mill at its heart. The town which the power plant once supplied was built to house the workers of the mill, and the power plant supplied free electricity for them.
The turbines really were an amazing sight, and certainly one of my favourite places to have visited.