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Chelyabinsk Oblast

Porogi Natural and Historical Complex (Rapids)

Природно-исторический комплекс «Пороги»

The Porogi tourism and recreation zone consists of several parts: first, it's «Porogi» itself — a monument of the old-fashioned mining dating back to 1910, the oldest operating hydroelectric plant in Russia and the first Russian electrometallurgy factory producing ferrous alloys. Second, the Porogi area — a mountain range that is perfectly suited for skiing, biking, hiking, horse riding, and mountaineering.

In 1904–1905 a Russian mining engineer Alexander Shuppe was conducting a geological survey on the Bolshaya Satka River. Since Shuppe knew the South Urals to have chromite deposits, it gave him an idea to look for a mountain river near them to use its power to produce ferrochromium and ferrosilicon. For this purpose he explored the course of the Bolshaya Satka River and found a suitable place 35 kilometers from the Satkinsky factory. Here, in the narrowest part of the Bolshaya Satka River valley between two ridges — Uary and Chulkovsky — a place was chosen for the construction. Not far from here, at the Chulkovsky Ridge, it was planned to mine quartzite — a feedstock to produce ferrosilicon.

The workers from nearby plants: Satkinsky, Yuruzansky, Katav-Ivanovsky, and others, participated in the construction. Peasants and other locals from nearby villages also took part.

The factory complex consisted of the dam and the engineering building with power plant engine room, melt shop and a section for charge mixture and electrode preparation. Apart from that, there was a chemical lab, wood storage, weigh station, stables, fire station, blacksmith's shop, and an office building located in a village several hundred meters away from the factory.

The dam's masonry is made of large treated rocks and plates with clay and cement in between as mortar. The dam is 21 meters high and 125 meters long.

The factory was equipped with machinery manufactured by the best Western-European companies from the United Kingdom, Germany, and other countries. For example, two hydro turbines were installed in the hydro plant's engine room. They were manufactured in the city of Gotha in Germany by Briegleb, Hansen & Co. While the aristocracy's houses in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and even the Winter Palace itself were still illuminated by candles or kerosene lamps, the houses of Porogi factory workers already had electricity.

Porogi hydro plant is the oldest operating hydro plant in Russia and its dam is the only hydraulic facility in the world built of sandstone. In 1966 the Porogi complex was granted the status of a historical and cultural landmark of regional significance.

The Tourism Development Center of Satkinsky Municipal District /

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Address: Chelyabinsk Oblast, the city of Satka

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