Electricity company building
Republiky Street No. 5
The Žilina Power Station Company built a steam power station on municipal land between the streets that are now Ulica republiky and Ulica M. R. Štefánika. The town owned shares in the company and transferred ownership of a total of 2,160 square metres of land to the Žilina power plant for construction. In 1906 the town and the power station agreed that for 50 years the streets, roads, other public spaces and bridges in the Žilina municipal area could be used free of charge for the transmission of electricity and that electricity would be made available for public lighting and other purposes, mainly in industry. Even at that early date, the town insisted that electricity must be carried in the main streets and squares by underground cables and that any breakdown of public lighting must be repaired within 24 hours otherwise the electricity company would pay a fine to the town treasury in the amount of twenty crowns per day of interruption in supply. At that time the town had 190 58-watt lamps, 30 116-watt lamps and 12 10-amp arc lamps. The power station began continuous generation of a 120-volt direct current on 18 February 1908. The machinery was supplied by Ganz of Budapest, which rented and operated the power station in Žilina. The power plant had a total output of 180 kW based on two steam engines with a combined output of 268 kW. The fuel was hard coal from the Ostrava region.
The town took over the power plant in 1918. In July 1926 the whole electricity business including all equipment, rights and obligations was taken over by the company Spojené elektrárne severozápadného Slovenska (United Power Stations of Northwest Slovakia). The town retained the right to participate in setting electricity tariffs. At the end of 1926, the steam power station was shut down because it was no longer profitable for the new owner to produce DC electricity. The power station originally had an adjoining 30-metre chimney, which was demolished around 1932.
Between 1941 and 1943 the main administration building was constructed on what is now Ulica republiky to a design by architects František Bednárik and Ferdinand Čapek. Thanks to its imposing functionalist appearance, it remains one of the most remarkable buildings in the town. The layout is in the shape of a letter “V”. The corner section is made from concrete and glass and slightly curved. The ground floor is clad in travertine, which was popular in that time. It was originally used as a retail showroom. The building is reminiscent of the expressionist designs of Erich Mendelson, an important German architect active at that time. The administrative building was extended in the period 1963–1965. The whole complex has been abandoned since 2011 and the regional electricity company is now based on Pri Rajčianke Street. The original building of the steam power station – which became a calibration and administration building in the period 1941–1943, is registered as a national cultural heritage monument under nos. 11788/1 and 2, and is inscribed in the list of historic monuments of the Town of Žilina under nos. 04 and 05.
Source: Mgr. Peter Štanský a Milan Novák
It can be visited
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.
Position of the monument on the map: C4