Pieces of pottery from the Roman Ages as well as findings from 140 graves from the Hungarian Conquest (896 A.D.) indicate the glorious past of the municipality of Ikervár.
Ikervár is one of the oldest municipalities of Vas county and the seat of the Batthyány family. Count Ladislaus Batthyány, the first Hungarian prime minister lived here.
The most valuable possession of Ikervár is the statue of Ladislaus Batthyány – the work of the sculptor Jenő Bory – erected using funds from the residents of the municipality. The municipality is proud of its past: its existence as early as the Avarian Age (7th century A.D.) is undermined by excavations. In one of the streets of Ikervár a cemetery from the period of the Hungarian Conquest with 140 graves was found.
Its church was built in the first decade of the 18th century, however, the altar is from the 15th century. The wife of count Ladislaus Batthyány, Countess Antonia Zichy, inaugurated the flag of the national guard of Vas county on 13 June 1848.
Construction works of the first Hungarian water plant, which has been producing electricity from 1900 to now, began in 1896 in Ikervár. It was planned by the astronomer and engineer Jenő Gotthard. It is interesting to mention that Ikervár was the first municipality in Hungary to use electricity, 50 years earlier than any other municipality at that time.
The dam was built 6 kilometres from the plant on the river Rába and the water came through a channel into the plant. The machine room still features one of the original turbines.
There was a water mill on the Batthyány estate in the vicinity of Ikervár as early as the beginning of the 18th century. The dam and its paddle wheel were washed away during spring floods until Italian engineers modernized it in the first decade of the 19th century. It was them, who suggested the Batthyány family to make use of the water of the Rába river.
The Vas County Electrical Works Holding was founded in 1895 and led by Count Ferenc Batthyány. Reading through the pages of the original construction protocol exhibited in the museum reveals that the construction began in September 1895. The exhibition also features the original riparian rights permit.
The Counts brought the dynamo and turbines from Switzerland – the plant used these until the beginning of the 20th century. The plant provided electricity to power the public lighting systems in the towns of Sárvár and Szombathely, but also the railway station of Sopron, opened in 1900, and the surrounding industrial facilities. The industrial history specialty of Ikervár can be seen in the museum of the plant where tableaus with images show the history of its construction, the way old watermills used to operate, smaller water plants in the surrounding areas, as well as works related to water management and flood protection. Further tableaus show green energies, like the utilisation of solar and other energies, the operation of wind plants.
The show room presents the use of water energy from antiquity to today, however, there is also a model of a ship mill and remnants of equipment used in water mills. Another room features the step-by-step development of the Ikervár Plant. A model table depicts the position of the facilities of the plant and the way the industrial water and the Rába were connected. The third part of the exhibition shows the flora and fauna of the river as well as the water, one of the key elements in our lives, from the antiquity to present times.
The plant and the museum can be found 7 km from Sárvár. There is a sign on the road between Ikervár and Sótony showing the way.
The museum can only be visited with previous notice via telephone!
Tel.: +36 95 568 711