C.V.A. - Compagnia Valdostana delle Acque
11024 CHATILLON (AO)
The hydroelectric plant of Champagne 1 is an industrial monument of the Belle Époque.Built in 1921, it is one of the most interesting plants, in an architectural point of view:austere and solid on the outside, embellished by decorations and architectural motifs on the inside.The plant is characterized by a structure made up of a grey stone main unit with large windows and two quadrangular side towers.The structure harmoniously fits in with the castles located in the surrounding areas: Saint-Pierre, Aymavilles, Introd, Avise and Arvier.
But the main point of interest of this tour is exploring the inside of the plant.Once inside the main entrance you come into a large hall, completely decorated on the ceilings and walls.Beside this building there is the other plant called Champagne 2 (visits not allowed), much more simple in shape and form.
The decorations were completed in 1929 and were recently restored. From this hall, where the turbines and generators are located, a grand staircase leads to a room where long ago the operation and production of the plant was controlled. The tour of the plant is interesting in order to better understand the running of hydroelectric plants and to see how energy can be produced by the use of a precious natural element:water.
Close to the plant you can also admire the huge wheel of a hydraulic turbine.
You may visit the outside of the plant all year round.Guided tours of the inside are given during weekdays, from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.Guided tours of the outside and inside last about half an hour. You must make reservations.