The commune of Laroque was one of the first to be equipped with both public and private electric lighting. 

The hydro-electric generating station operated from 1898 to 1923.

As it was difficult to move around at night in the unlit roads, the municipality considered it a good idea to have electricity installed in the village.  At that time lighting was provided by candles or paraffin lamps and only very few communities had electricity.  The electric light bulb had only been invented in 1879.  So the introduction of the electricity generating station was a prodigious project. 

For its inauguration in 1898, all the neighbouring villagers came to see this new invention and to try and understand how it worked. 

Anecdote :
It was said that someone from a neighbouring village came with a barrel, believing that he could take away some electricity and then bottle it. 

L'ancienne usine électrique de Laroque des Albères

 This ancient factory was able to produce electricity due to the power of the water flowing down a cast iron pipe from a reservoir 300 metres away, above the factory.  It had to be opened manually every time it was needed. 

The used water was recuperated in a nearby reservoir, which was then used for irrigation – thus the water provided both the lighting and irrigation.  The station had a turbine turning at 560 turns per minute which directly activated a dynamo which could provide enough electricity to power between 150 and 300 lamps,

In 1923 the electricity plant was closed as it was too expensive to run. It had been necessary to buy land for its installation, there had been fees for the rights to use the water from the irrigation channel and somebody needed to be paid to be in charge of the station.   During periods of draught,  there were problems with the lighting either not working at all or intermittently 

 After the factory was closed, the village children used the reservoir as a swimming pool and then as it dried up, it became a meeting place for ‘boules’.

The building was then used by the hunters and you can still see the benches used for cutting up the game.


Tourism Office
20, rue du Docteur Carbonneil
66740 Laroque des Albères

Tél : 04 68 95 49 97
Fax : 04 68 95 42 58



opening hours

Monday to friday
from 09:00 am to 11:30 am and 2:00 pm till 5:30 pm

July and august, monday to saturday
from 09:00 am to 12:30 am and 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm,
sunday from 09:00am to 12:30am.