Wolmirstedt Converter Hall – Wolmirstedt, Germany - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Wolmirstedt, Germany

Wolmirstedt Converter Hall

Where the interconnection of German power grids should be. 

In the second half of the 1980s, it was decided that a powerline would be built from Helmstedt to the former West Berlin. At Wolmirstedt, a large node in the power grid of former East Germany, this powerline would be connected to East Germany’s grid. As the power grids of the West and the East were operated in different modes, though, a bidirectional power exchange using an HVDC back-to-back station was required to make the jump.

In 1989, construction began on the facility that would connect the power grids of West and East Germany with a scheduled completion date of 1992 three years later. On October 3, 1989, the powerline from Helmstedt to Wolmirstedt went into service, but the different operation modes between countries meant that it could only be used for delivering power to the former East Germany.

After the Berlin Wall fell it was decided that the power grids of the two countries needed to operate in the same mode as soon as possible. This decision made the HVDC back-to-back station at Wolmirstedt obsolete and so construction work was stopped in April 1990. The already-completed hall with its characteristic transformer bays was later sold to a recycling company, which still uses it today.