Ferndampfwerk Gustav Avellis


Ferndampfwerk Gustav Avellis’ is an abandoned heating plant in Forst. The factory generated thermal energy in the form of steam. It was built in 1922 by the Avellis family, who had a textile factory in the same city. Eventually, the plant closed down after the German reunification.

In 1844 the first steam engine was installed in the Prussian town of Forst. This marked the beginning of the industrial rise to one of the most important textile metropolises of its time. Eventually, at the beginning of the 20th century, Lausitz was the center of the German textile industry. As a result, you could find countless factories that supplied tons of materials for clothes, hats and uniforms, along the Spree and Neiße rivers.


In 1922, Franz and Kurt Avellis, sons of the textile magnate Gustav Avellis, established a power station designed to generate steam for textile manufacturing. The city of Forst assumed control of the facility in 1933. Contrary to common belief, the station solely produced steam at 190 degrees Celsius, not electricity. Operating on a three-shift system, the coal was processed and the steam distributed throughout the city via an extensive network of pipes. Initially, the coal used for steam production was delivered by ‘Schwarzen Jule’, a local industrial railway. Following its closure, transportation shifted to trucks from the power station’s coal yard on Badestrasse.

Shortly after German reunification, the coal boiler was shut down. In 1995 also the gas system of the plant was shut down and the building was abandoned. I visited ‘Ferndampfwerk Gustav Avellis’ in 2019. As I stepped through the factory’s crumbling entrance, I felt the weight of history settle on my shoulders. Follow this link for more abandoned power plants.

Built 1922
Abandoned 1995