Kremikovci Steel Plant – The Largest Industrial Ruin In Europe

The Kremikovci metallurgical plant, built 1959 just outside the Bulgarian capital Sofia, once was one of the largest employers in the country and one of the largest polluters of air and water in the Balkans. Now what remains is the largest industrial ruin in Europe and as part of my project Industrial Ruins in Bulgaria, I went there for a shooting yesterday (21 March 2012).

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(All Images Copyright Johann Brandstätter / JB Photography)

Years after the formerly state-owned factory was privatized in a series of shady deals and finally ended in bankruptcy, what was once the manifestation communist gigantism is still a grim reminder that environmental concerns could not be farther from the minds of the rulers of present-day Bulgaria.

What exactly is going on behind the security fence and the (still manned) watch towers is not entirely clear but I could see large clouds of black, stinking smoke coming out of one of the smoke stacks. Also, somewhere in the vast (4.5 by 2.5 kilometer) area a large amounts of rubbish was burned, resulting in more black fumes that hung over the area like an evil cloak.

As usual, I transformed the images into black-and-white, enhanced the contrast and – occasionally – sharpened a bit, but otherwise the shots are not altered at all.

More Industrial Ruins in Bulgaria can be seen on my website (click link).