I was born in Dollar Town. That's how Ponferrada was known at the beginning of XX century. It was the capital of a prosperous mining valley in northern Spain and the "coal fever" was transforming the landscape and the life of its people . Amazing infrastructure was developed around this black mineral: from mountain railways to power stations.
Time passed by, as time insists in doing, and that precious coal was not longer that precious. Railtracks were dismantled, people emigrated and buildings were abandoned. One of those buildings was the coal-fired power station that now is part of " La Fábrica de La Luz" (The Factory of Light)
For years hidden among bushes and twisted trees it was an alluring place to go and investigate, have a cheeky cigarette with friends or practice my sprinting skills chased by guard dogs. All those years the power station kept intact its imposing boiler room, redbrick covered ovens and twisted metal pipe systems.
Nowadays is one of the most interesting and inspiring visits in town. Not only because is part of the local history but because it is an incredible space, like a movie set or a steampunk fantasy. Its machinery comes from a time while everything was made manually making each tube, lever or gear a beautiful piece of craftmanship.