Torre de les Aigües

A beautiful failure: visits to Torre de les Aigües

Designed at the end of the 19th century in order to supply drinking water to Barcelona, this tower in Poblenou is one of the finest legacies of the city’s industrial past

At the end of the 19th century, Barcelona was growing in extension and population and was faced with an ever-greater problem: its people, businesses and industries all needed water, which was far from being an abundant resource in Barcelona. The city was hit by a terrible drought in 1875 and 1876, resulting in the drawing up of an ambitious plan to ensure its water supply by channelling the underground currents of the Besós River in order to bring drinking water to the city through the Poblenou neighbourhood. This infrastructure worked well for a time, but the water was too close to the sea and suffered from excessive salinity and eventually the whole project was scrapped, leaving behind one single architectural reminder -  the Torre de les Aigües - a magnificent period construction that is no longer a secret.

From the top of the tower, which is over 60 metres in height, you can see a different Barcelona from that on display from Collserola or from the tall buildings in the city centre. It’s a Barcelona that lies closer to the sea and that is on a more human scale. The building’s interior is also a fine example of the industrial architecture of its time, pre-dating the bourgeoisie finery of Catalan modernism

The Torre de les Aigües is only open to visits in the morning at weekends. You’ll find additional information on the website, with details of exclusive night visits and ticket sales.

Publication date: Friday, 14 April 2017
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