The former Craiova Power Plant, nowadays the ”Ion Constantinescu” Sports Hall
Monument / Architectural attraction
The former Craiova Power Plant, nowadays the ”Ion Constantinescu” Sports Hall, is an industrial-style building located in the central area of Craiova. It was built in 1896 by the German company A.E.G. (Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft), which had won the exclusive lease of the city’s lighting for a period of 40 years.
According to an article on the site of the General Association of Engineers in Romania, the Craiova Municipal Council approved on November 20, 1893, the draft contract with the General Electricity Company of Berlin, Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft – A.E.G. The location for the power plant that was to be built was set at the city's "zero kilometer", the plant being designed to provide lighting to the central area within a radius of 1.5 km. The location was handed over on September 5, 1895, and the constructor began work in November 1895.
After almost a year, on October 14 (26), 1896, the Power Plant was put into operation, being leased to the A.E.G. company for a period of 40 years.
In 1902, the first Diesel group (of MAN type) of 120 hp in the country was put into operation at the Craiova Power Plant, just two years after the commissioning of such Diesel groups in the world.
Until 1916, the lease of the city's lighting went fine. During the First World War, German-owned assets, including the Craiova Power Plant, were seized. From 1916 to 1929, the Plant was administered by the so-called "seizers' administrators" (since 1924, the Mayor of Craiova himself was a seizers' administrator).
In December 1933, the Craiova Power Plant initiated the publishing of a periodical publication, "The Contact", that appeared monthly and was distributed free of charge. The magazine intended to inform its subscribers of "things that are not known and are of interest to everyone ... Keeping you up to speed with the innovations and advances in technology." These included the toaster, electric kettle, ironing machine, electric stove, hair dryer, electric hob. The magazine appeared for only two years, from December 1933 to December 1935.
After 1994, when the Polyvalent Hall in Craiova was destroyed by a devastating fire, the former Power Plant was transformed into a sports hall for the sports teams in the city. Starting with 2009, the Sports Hall was named after the former volleyball coach and president of Universitatea Craiova, professor Ion Constantinescu.