Turček’s water pipe and underground power plant, Kremnica

Turček’s water pipe is a water management construction which probably started to be built in Kremnica’s mining area as early as in the medieval period, in the 15th century. The idea to build this system arose from the need to provide a sufficient source and enough power of the water stream for driving mining machines even during the times of drought; particularly for stamping mills, crushing plants and graders. The water with a steep incline was used in the mining shafts Ferdinand, Ludovik and Marry for driving the water wheels; later for driving Girard, Schwankrug and Francis turbines and for driving the generators. This water source has been used for generating electrical energy since the end of the 19th century, following the decline of mining. The name of the water pipe suggests that the water sources come from the Turiec region, in the River Váh basin, from where they were transported by contour lines hollowed in the stones or by wood gutters into the water-parting of the River Hron. In some parts of the route with a total length of 22km adits were used to shorten the route of the supplying channel.
The most remarkable level of all three levels on the water route is one of the oldest power plants operating in Slovakia, an underground hydroelectric power plant. It was built 245m below ground level and is accessible through shaft No.4 on the southern edge of the town of Kremnica. It was brought into operation in 1922. The engineering plant was cut into the stone. The water from Turček’s stream flows away from it by the Main Hereditary shaft which flows in the Hron River near to Žiar nad Hronom. The heart of the power plant is created by 3 Pelton turbines and generators with capacities of 370, 380 and 1270 kW which supply the town of Kremnica with electricity until today.

Heritage > National cultural monuments