Ajka, consisting of nine localities, rose to the rank of a town in 1959. Its development started in the 1900s with the opening of the brown coal mines. There, a power plant was built in 1943 - the biggest alumina plant of Hungary at the time with furnaces producing aluminium.
At the same time, the glasshouse which produced crystals was also established. After the change of regime, the mines were closed and the water technology necessary to produce aluminium was abolished.
Unfortunately, this activity led to the red sludge disaster in 2010. Nowadays aluminium is not produced with this method and is instead imported from other countries. Meanwhile, the glassworks closed their activity as well.
The change of the economic activities transformed the town. The former Ajka was considered an artificial city created by the industry using the then-modern technologies. Until 30 years ago, Ajka was referred to as a large housing estate, whose buildings were mainly characterized by block and house-building technology, but this changed with the conscientious efforts for modernization.
Source: Municipality of Ajka