Ironworks Terres Rouges

The ironworks dates back to 1870. After changing owners a few times it fell into the hands of the ‘Société Métallurgique des Terres Rouges’ in 1919. In 1977 the factory closed and in the following years the blast furnace and most buildings of this huge complex were demolished, except for the thermal power plant, the loading dock and a few small buildings. For some reason unknown to me these sole survivors got to stay for dozens of years.


The thermal power plant was being demolished during our visit. We tried our luck by hopping the fence and just walking straight to the building, but before we even got there a worker pointed out that we had to wear a hard-hat. I think he event went to get us one but then the executor came and asked for our press card. We had to admit that we’re just hobbyists and they friendly let us know that it was too dangerous to go inside during the demolition, which is understandible. I don’t feel like I’ve missed much as that building had suffered a lot of vandalism. We left and went for the loading dock. It’s an old oblong building with hoppers for the mixing and distribution of raw materials like iron ore and chalk. It used to be attached to the other buildings by long catwalks with conveyor belts. The lowest level of the building is flooded, creating surreal scenes with beautiful reflections.