The first cement factory in Hungary has reached its sorry end. The monstrous industrial complex of Lábatlan was established by Balázs Konkoly-Thege on the right bank of river Danube in 1868, and in the very beginning, Roman cement was made here in a wood-fuelled 16 chamber furnace. Today, the factory is a lovely ruin — which I visited to document before it’s demolished.
The factory had a 60m chimney, and in 1887 a large pit furnace was also built, changing the landscape and the nearby village forever. The high quality cement the plant produced increased the village’s reputation — and the inflow of foreign capital. The cement of Lábatlan had become a popular building material and industrial product.
During the communist era in 1952, the old factory was almost completely demolished, replaced by a brand-new, state of the art plant, with a modern office building and public baths. The socialist company survived the collapse of the economic system in the ’90s, and the plant’s lifetime was further extended by environmentally-friendly investmentors.
In October 2012, the Swiss owner of the factory announced that because of the downturn of construction industry, the factory would be demolished by the end of 2015. After the demolition work had begun, I visited the site a few times and took photos of the last work phases — and the abandoned coal tunnels, rotary kilns, cement mills, sludge tanks and silos — while I was roaming inside the dying giant. The following set of images shows you the hideous beauty of a condemned industrial monster.
Pictures: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo