Styrian capital of Slovenia, the city of Maribor, is home to Dravske elektrarne Maribor company (Drava Power Plants Maribor) that manages eight hydroelectric power plants housed by the beautiful and serene Drava River. The eight hydroelectric power plants on Drava River provide for a good quarter of the electricity needs in Slovenia. However, in the past, the Drava River was not serene, but was rather a fast river with a torrential stream, and thus perfect for housing hydroelectric power plants.

Photo credit:, Ivo Mihevc


In 1913, the construction of the first hydroelectric power plant on the Drava River – the Fala Hydroelectic Power Plant – began. Its construction went through many phases particularly due to the start of the 1st World War. For example, in course of the 1st WW, military prisoners from Russia and Italy also contributed to the plant’s construction. And then, soon to be 101 years ago to date, on the 6th of May 1918, the first three aggregates were put into operation, and up until 1991 seven more aggregates were added. Today, the oldest hydropower plant in the Slovenian part of the Drava River operates with three aggregates and after a renovation it has become one of the most modern in the country, without crew and under a remote-control supervision. Fala annually produces approximately 260 GWh of electricity. In its entire history, it produced almost 19,400 GWh, or with its production, it met approximately one and a half year of all Slovenian electricity consumption in the present time.


After the active operation in the old engine room came to a stop and after the oldest aggregates were shut down, the plant’s facilities offered the possibility for a different use. The Dravske elektrarne Maribor opened in the plant’s non-operating rooms a Technical Museum in order to present the history and machinery of the building. In addition, the renovation of the plant enabled the preservation and presentation of one of the most important monuments of the 20th century architectural heritage of Slovenia. Already in 1986, Fala hydroelectric power plant, for example, due to its technical and architectural qualities, was proclaimed a technical monument of local importance, and in 2008 it was declared a cultural monument of national importance by the decree of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.

Photo credit: Milimeter Studio/Matjaž Wenzel


As the power plant is so majestic, interesting and historically important, it is possible to visit it. The guided tour that lasts two hours includes short film tour and a tour of the museum’s part of the plant. Since last year, five exhibits on which it is possible to test the conversion of various forms of energy into electricity have been added in the museum section as well.

Best time of the year:All-year-round
Duration: 120 minutes
Number of participants:Min: 5, Max: 25
Location:Maribor, Slovenia

Photo credit: Milimeter Studio/Matjaž Wenzel


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