Hauntingly beautiful photos of an abandoned power plant in Poland that’s been empty for over 20 years

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A staircase in the Szombierki power station. Roman Robroek.
  • The Szombierki power station in Bytom, Poland used to be one of the largest coal-powered power plants in Europe.
  • But now, it’s been abandoned for decades – yet certain rooms are still eerily well-kept.
  • Chilling photos show what the abandoned power plant looks like today.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In the southern part of Poland lies a coal-powered power station that has been abandoned for over 20 years.

The Szombierki power station in Bytom, Poland was constructed between 1917 and 1920. In the years that followed, a four-sided clock tower was installed. By 1945, the power station was one of the largest coal-powered power plants in Europe, with 900 employees and a capacity of 92 megawatts.

In 1969, a major modernisation took place and the power station was transformed into a heat and power generating plant. Almost 20 years later, the facility stopped generating electricity.

Due to major holes in the roof, lack of heating, moist and fungus, missing window elements, no functioning water supply, and a broken sewage system, the power plant is in a very poor state of conservation. The power station is shortlisted for the “7 Most Endangered Programme” by Europa Nostra in an attempt to prevent demolition.

As a photographer with a focus on abandoned buildings and a passion for history, I travelled to Bytom to photograph the power station.

Here’s what it looks like today.


The characteristic façade of dark red brick and three chimneys is the architectural landmark of Bytom.

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The power station was erected in brick in an early modernism style. Characterising the facility is the monumentalism, simplicity, and cubic nature of the multiple buildings.

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The huge size of one of the main turbine halls is wildly impressive.

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Peeling paint in warm colours make it a very decorative hall.

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Mould is starting to cover the walls in the former offices.

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Administrative documents, instructions, and manuals are all left behind.

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Spread throughout the facility are multiple major architectural highlights, like this beautiful staircase.

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Here’s another example of architectural and symmetrical idealism, with all different parts of the hallway looking exactly the same.

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Many of the halls and rooms have broken windows or a leaking roof, opening the door for nature to take over.

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Big concrete stairs leading up to yet another enormous room.

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A close-up of one of the turbines shows how it looked when it was still functioning.

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This turbine is the only one in the power station that’s still mostly intact.

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One of the former control panels is falling apart.

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While this control panel, in the main control room, has been preserved.

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Parts of the roof have been renewed to prevent further damage from happening. In the background is the skyline from the city Katowice.

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Other parts of the roof are still wide open for rain to fall in.

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The power station has multiple floors. Each floor has its own function.

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The symmetrical perfection in many of the rooms is a joy to the eye.

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Some of the rooms in the power station are in pristine condition, like this wooden staircase.

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A former meeting room is also in excellent shape — a big contrast with most of the rest of the power station that is in heavy decay.

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The tunnel, including carriages left behind that were used to transfer coal, was covered in complete darkness.

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Empty concrete shells were found all over the facility.

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A view from the back of the turbine shows the massive size of the room.

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Multiple rooms in the power station used to be closed with big metal doors.

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A romantic scene is revealed with a little bit of light falling in through the only window in this room.

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This hall has an immense size and the roof looks like it’s from outer space.

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A large conveyor belt is featured in another room that’s easily as long as a soccer field.

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The first hall I walked into after entering the facility impressed me with its enormous size.

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This former workplace is now covered in trash.

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With multiple stairs and walking paths, you could easily get lost exploring the power station.

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