The Besòs Water Tower, living history of the Poblenou district

The tower has been refurbished and is now open to visitors

The Besòs Water Tower and the Antiga Casa de Vàlvules is a historical complex located in the Plaça Ramon Calsina, Poblenou, which has been recently rehabilitated in an attempt to divulge elements of the district’s history and acquaint Barcelona residents with the importance of the site as one of the city’s characteristic landmarks.

The water tower is the closest heritage site to Barcelona’s coastline and, following the two prior transformations of the city’s seaside area (the Olympic Games in 1992 and the Fòrum in 2004), has both symbolic significance and marks the boundary between the Poblenou district and the new urban developments in the area.

The building is the work of modernist architect Pere Falqués i Urpí and has been used by a number of industrial enterprises over the years. Initially it formed part of a large industrial complex that collected water from the subsoil of the former Besòs riverbed, close to the estuary, and distributed it via a complex network to the Ciutat Vella district and the lower part of the Eixample district.

The Besòs Water Tower is currently administered by the Arxiu Històric del Poblenou (Historical Archive), an association dedicated to research and dissemination of documents and information concerning the district. Among other activities, the association organises guided visits to the water tower. A museological-museographical project is currently being undertaken with the help of MUHBA, the Museu d’Historia de Barcelona.

Publication date: Friday, 25 April 2014
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