A relic of a contradictory past
The former urban heating plant is located in the industrial part of Raša close to the former mine. Today, the abandoned structure reminds us of a contradictory past, including technological progress but also the suffering of the miners.
Early model of a self-sufficient community
Thanks to advanced technology for the time, the central heating plant with two capacious coal boilers provided the town with hot water. The plant was connected with 2.4 km of pipes to various buildings, serving not only the bathroom facilities of the miners, but also all public buildings as well as the residential houses for the managerial staff. With such an innovative system of experimental teleheating, the aqueduct, the coal deposit and the electricity network, Raša anticipated the model of a self-sufficient community relying on local resources.
Autarchy, coal and suffering
However, the coal mine was a means to a precise end: Italy’s search for economic self-sufficiency as a response to economic sanctions. The massive production of coal was payed at a high price: 185 miners lost their lives in a tragic mine accident on 28 February 1940 during a change of shift in the early morning hours. The accident occurred because of increased production and decreased security measures.
New uses today
Due to a deterioration of the infrastructure, the heating plant closed down in 1995. Today, there are plans for a new cultural-touristic reuse of the abandoned architecture.