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Humanity has learned to build dams a long time ago. It turned out to be possible to restore it, as a result, today the dam is again serving, helping to irrigate local farmers on their lands.
This place began to enjoy the interest of tourists. After all, such objects often not only help to generate electricity or irrigate the surrounding lands, but they also act as a full-fledged tourist complex.
It is not surprising that there are more than a dozen grandiose dams in the world where visitors with sightseeing tours are allowed. We will tell below about the most interesting dams on our planet.
Hoover Dam. This facility is located 48 kilometers from Las Vegas, USA. Tourists are freely allowed here, you just need to buy a ticket costing from 9 to 11 dollars. The dam receives at least 9 million guests annually. This building in the state of Nevada is generally one of the main attractions of America. Construction of the facility began in 1931, when the country was going through the Great Depression. At that time, there was a tradition to assign the names of Presidents to the largest dams. So this dam was named after the governor of the country, Herbert Hoover. Some of the dam work took place in tunnels. Several workers there even suffered from carbon monoxide. But this did not stop many people wishing to take part in the grandiose construction. After all, at that time of the crisis there were not so many earning opportunities. The dam was inaugurated in 1935, two years ahead of schedule. It is interesting that our writers Ilf and Petrov visited it in the same year, describing the grandiose structure in their book "One-Story America". Hoover Dam was designed by Los Angeles-based architect Gordon Kaufman. At the same time, his creation was sustained in the Art Deco style. Towers were erected at the very top of the dam, and two couples of hours were also there. They still work, showing the time in different time zones of the states of Nevada and Colorado. Hoover Dam is so famous that it was often involved in filming. So, she can be seen in "Transformers" and "Universal Soldier". This building was not ignored by the creators of computer games.
Dam of Ataturk. In Turkish Urfa, you can visit this building for only 4 lira. When you fly on an airplane over the territory of this country, you can see a large salt lake in the window with a rather indented coastline. If you look closely at it, then in its southern part you can find a large dam. It was she who received the name of Ataturk, the first President of Turkey. Many things are named in his honor in the country. The construction of the grandiose structure began in 1983, and it lasted for 7 years. The construction of the dam has become one of the parts of the large-scale project "South-East Antalya". According to him, as many as 22 dams were to be erected on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The largest of them was the Ataturk Dam. Its construction turned out to be so important for the country that the government decided to relocate the residents of dozens of villages that were in the zone of the future artificial lake. It just became the result of the construction of the dam. The lake eventually swallowed up the ruins of the old city of Samosata, the birthplace of the Greek poet Lucian. Today, the Ataturk Dam is successfully performing its functions - it generates electricity, irrigates the land and attracts numerous tourists. The importance of the facility for Turkey is so great that it is the Hoover Dam that is depicted on the national 1 lira banknote.
Dam Wyont. For 5 euros, any tourist can visit this facility located in the Italian Lognarone. The valley of the Piave River, which is not far from the Tyrolean Alps, has been in the ears of people since the 1930s. It was then that Ernest Hemingway's book Farewell to Arms was published. During the battles of the First World War, one of the Italian armies was located here, operating against the Austrians. In 1961, the Vajont Dam was built on the Piave River. Approaching it, you can admire an excellent view of the dam, as if squeezed by the neighboring mountains. The dam received a "bad" reputation when in 1963 one of the largest accidents in the history of hydraulic facilities took place here. Then more than 3 thousand people died. The cause of the misfortune was a fragment of a rock from Mount Monte Toz. He fell right into the reservoir. His bowl was overflowing with pieces of rock. Water poured over the top of the dam, and a rapid stream washed away nearby villages in a matter of minutes. There were no eyewitnesses who would have seen the disaster with their own eyes. Since then, the reservoir behind the dam has not been restored. In 2001, a feature film "Wyont - People's Madness" was even shot about that disaster. A year later, the dam was opened to tourists.
Dam Itaipu. On the border of Paraguay and Brazil, in Foz do Iguacu, this facility is located. You can visit it by paying from 20 to 50 dollars. In the 80s of the last century, the issue of energy shortages arose in Brazil. The government adopted a development concept according to which water flows became an important source of energy. Many have long been talking about the need to build a powerful dam on the Parana River. It was not clear only where to build it. As a result, a good place was chosen - where Parana went underground. The rock here could withstand the enormous weight of future concrete structures. Although the border between Brazil and Paraguay passed at this point, numerous negotiations ended with an agreement on the joint construction of the dam. As it turned out later, both states only benefited from such cooperation. As a result, the Itaipu dam today provides electricity for the largest cities in Brazil - Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It generates 93% of all Paraguay's energy needs. Itaipu has enough power to light 120 million bulbs at the same time. But this dam did not protect itself from the accident. In 2009, a thunderstorm severely damaged power lines. As a result, virtually all of Paraguay and 50 million inhabitants of neighboring Brazil were left without electricity. Tourists come here from any side of the border. The special bus route here lasts an hour and a half. During this time, tourists in it will be able to see a huge spillway, visit the observation deck near the turbines and drive up to the concrete wall of the dam, eight-story building high.
Dam "Three Gorges". If you go to the Chinese Sandoupin, be sure to visit this dam. The entrance ticket price there is 57-105 yuan. The fact that a dam should be built on the Yangtze River has been talked about since 1919. But then the scale of the construction scared away the authors of the project. In 1956, in his poem "Swimming," the great Mao Zedong spoke about the project of a dam on the great Yangtze River. But only in 1992, China began to build a dam and a hydroelectric power station on it. The construction lasted 19 long years, and the erected hydroelectric power station became the most powerful in the world. All the time, while the dam was being built, endless disputes between opponents and supporters of this object were conducted around it. The advantage of its construction is the huge amount of energy generated for the country. But China, with its billions of people, is in dire need of it. In addition, the dam has significantly reduced flood threats. In the last century alone, the rapid floods of the Yangtze have killed half a million people. Supporters argue that the dam will also purify water. While the benefits of building the facility are obvious, they will do little to comfort the 1.3 million Chinese who have had to move elsewhere.
Aswan Dam. To visit this famous Egyptian dam will have to pay 5 pounds in national currency. The first small dam on this site was built back in 1902 by the British. In 1912 and 1933 the building was completed. However, it still was not able to fully hold the waters of the mighty Nile. In 1952, it was decided to build a new dam - Aswan. But this high-profile project of the country's President Gamal Nasser did not like the United States. As a result, the World Bank refused to finance the Egyptians. The government of the USSR saved the situation. The Aswan Dam project was developed in 1958 at the Hydroproject Institute, and construction began a couple of years later. It was partially sponsored by the Soviet Union. A memorial tower in the shape of a lotus flower today reminds of the glorious cooperation of the two countries. The dam was erected for 11 years, during this time, work was also carried out to save the ancient monuments that ended up in the zone of future flooding. Only the temples of Abu Simbel were dismantled and moved to a new, safe place for four years. Today, the Aswan Dam is still operational and supplies energy to most of the country. The resulting reservoir is used for irrigation, and the dam also acts as a tourist site. You can not only walk along it with an excursion, but even drive a car. There is a four-lane road along the very crest of the dam.
Dam of Nagarjuna Sagar. You have to go here from the closest Indian city of Nalgonda. A visit will cost a tourist 350-450 rupees. In the 40s of the last century, India was overwhelmed by the "Green Revolution". Its goal was to improve agriculture in the country. The largest, moreover, the first object of infrastructural changes was the construction of the Nagarjuna Sagar dam on the deep Krishna River. Construction began in 1955 and was personally approved by then-Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. But his daughter Indira opened the dam 14 years later. Since that time, the dam has provided vital water every day for irrigation of several large regions of the country. The power plant created here is also an important member of the national power grid. Those tourists who want to visit the state of Andhra Pradesh will be interested not only in the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, but also in the artificial lake with the same name. In its very center is the island of Nagarjukonda, where Buddhists arrive on pilgrimage. The reason for such attention of believers is that it was here that 2200 years ago the founder of Mahayana Buddhism, Acharya Nagarjuna, created a religious school. Many monks from China, Ceylon and Bengal tried to get here. Here, on the island, there is a unique museum. Among other exhibits, religious relics stand out - the earring of the Buddha himself and his tooth.
Dam Inguri. This dam is located in Georgia, in Jvari. You can get to the observation deck here for free, but to get to the dam itself you will need a special permit. The decision to build a dam here was made personally by the USSR Secretary General Nikita Khrushchev. Initially, the leader suggested building a dam on the Bzyb River. But it turned out that this could lead to soil erosion on the beach in Pitsunda - the leader's favorite vacation spot. He did not sacrifice the famous health resort, and it was decided to start the construction of the dam in the beautiful gorge of the Inguri River. The project began in 1961. The collapse of the USSR led to a scandal around this facility. The Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and the settlement of the border led to the fact that the line between the countries passed right next to the dam. She herself was on the side of Georgia, but Abkhazia got electric generators and other equipment. In 1992, the countries still managed to agree on how to share the electricity generated. 60% of it goes to Georgia, and the rest goes to Abkhazia. The Inguri hydroelectric power station is still a secure facility, where it is rather difficult to get there.
Dam by Robert Bourass. This Canadian dam is completely free to visit. The name of the object was given by the new Prime Minister of Canada, Robert Bourassa. A year after taking office in 1970, he began construction of three hydroelectric power plants at once on the La Grande River. This decision was not only a step towards providing the country with cheap electricity, the politician also fulfilled his promise to create one hundred thousand new jobs. Such a large-scale construction, during which a whole cascade of several dams appeared, attracted many different specialists here. Almost the main difficulty during construction is the remoteness of the facility from the equipped places and the poor transport availability in these places. But even this has faded in comparison with the resistance of the Indian tribes who have lived in these lands for centuries. In November 1973, the Cree were even able to get the dam to stop. Only two years later, the work was continued. After another 4 years, the La Grad-2 HPP was launched. It stretches 140 kilometers underground, becoming the largest underground station. The reservoir and the dam were named after Robert Bourass in 1996. Thanks to him, the plans became reality. Today, any tourists who come here can see the full scale of the dam. The height of the dam is the same as that of a skyscraper with 53 floors. The water flows into the storage facility along ten huge steps. Each of them is twice the size of a football field.
Dam Akosombo. Ghana became the first country in colonial Africa to gain independence in 1957. Then her entire industry was focused on the cultivation and sale of cocoa beans. But production had to be developed to give a boost to the economy. Some prospects were promised by the extraction of bauxite, which could in the future give aluminum. In order to provide electricity for the country's future metallurgical plants, it was decided to build the Akosombo Dam. During its construction, it was not without investments from England and the United States. The country's government itself simply did not have the necessary funds to launch such an expensive project. According to the terms of the agreement with partners, Ghana itself could use no more than 20% of the electricity it receives. In 1965, the dam was commissioned, and most of the electricity was generated for the American aluminum company Volta. But Ghana over time revised these predatory terms of the treaty. Now the electricity received is enough for the country's neighbors - Togo and Benin. The dam formed an artificial lake Volta. Now these places are very popular with tourists. A visit to the dam itself costs only about a dollar, but the Volta Hotel, from the windows of which you can observe the dam, is quite expensive. A night at this hotel costs at least $ 150.
Dam of Verzasca. In one of the latest Bond films, there is a scene in which super-agent James Bond jumps from a dam 200 meters high. This footage was filmed in Switzerland in the Ticino area. It is there that the Verzaska dam is located, which, through the efforts of the scriptwriter, became a Soviet dam near Arkhangelsk.These shots became legendary and marked the beginning of a curious tradition. Every year from April to October, jumpers from all over the world come to the dam. All of them are driven by a common goal - to repeat the same jump of James Bond. They are not stopped by the fact that a jump from a 220 meter height with a bungee tied to their feet is paid here. You will have to pay 255 Swiss francs for the pleasure. It is necessary to sign up for a dangerous jump several weeks in advance. The free fall from the dam lasts 6 seconds, after which the body of the jumper is shot back up with the help of a tourniquet. If tourists are not so fond of extreme entertainment, then they can inspect the dam from the observation deck. The concrete block of the dam and the valley with the same name are perfectly visible there. If you walk 380 meters along the dam itself, you can get to the other side of the gorge. This pleasure is worthless.
Natural dam built by beavers. This object is located in the Wood Buffalo National Park. The natural dam, built by beavers, was discovered several years ago by the ecologist Jean Thier. He was able to do this using the Google Earth program and those technologies that were developed by NASA. It turned out that the animals were able to build a dam 850 meters long, located in the province of Alberta, in Canada. The ecologist came to the conclusion that beavers began to work on their dam back in the 70s, while the construction does not stop. To build their dam, hardworking animals felled thousands of trees and brought several tons of branches and clay here. It should be noted that the place for the dam was chosen by the beavers as a very successful one. The facility is located in the most abandoned corner of this park. So the animals have protected themselves from constant and annoying guests who dream of inspecting and photographing the dam. As a result, today the dam can only be seen in the form of images on the Google Planet Earth website or from the air. Inspection of the park and the dam by helicopter or plane will cost a tourist at least $ 79, and you need to book a trip in advance on the website of the transport company.