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Messina, Italy

Torri Morandi

An abandoned building that once tightened a power line that stretched across Messina Strait. 

In the first half of the 1950s, an immense overhead power line was built over Messina Strait. The 3646 meter-long line was supported by the Pylons of Messina, two enormous towers that stretched the cables from Sicily to Porticello. While no longer in regular use, the towers are considered a tourist spot and were given national monument status.

While the pylons get all of the fanfare, an often overlooked but fascinating example of ingenuity still stands abandoned in Sicily. Torri Morandi, also known as Torri di Contrappesatura dei Cavi, was the station used to tighten the conductor cables. The Messina Strait Overhead Powerline Crossing was so long, it needed a special facility for tightening the conductors using counterweights. On the Sicilian side, two towers were built to hold counterweights. On the opposite side, the conductors were affixed in the usual manner at a strainer portal.

After the dismantling of the conductors in 1994, the building was left unused. However, there are interesting plans for future use. The building will be used as the terminal of a cableway, either running on the top of the former span pylon in Messina or across Messina Strait, and to house a Museum of Holography.