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Casa de l'Aigua

From Rec Comtal to Casa de l’Aigua

A virtual tour through the history and heritage of water supply in Barcelona.

An indispensable requirement for life is the existence of water. Without it, the first traces of organisms would not have appeared, nor would biological evolution have taken place to give rise to the enormous diversity of species that today inhabit the Earth. Human beings are one of these species and, as such, cannot live without water resources. How did past societies manage to supply water to large areas such as the city of Barcelona? Now you can discover it with the virtual visit From the Rec Comtal to the Casa de l’Aigua de la Trinitat Vella.

It is estimated that the Rec Comtal has existed since before the 11th century, that is, for more than a thousand years. It was built to take over from an old Roman aqueduct in Montcada that had fallen into disuse. The Rec Comtal was a hydraulic infrastructure that channelled water from the Besòs River to the centre of Barcelona in order to supply it originally for agricultural and industrial use. From its construction until it was no longer used, the Rec evolved in parallel with technical advances and the city's water needs. From this evolution emerged the treatment plant of the Casa de l’Aigua de la Trinitat, a complex between the current districts of Sant Andreu and Nou Barris built to promote the sanitation of the city at the beginning of the 20th century.

Today, the Casa de l’Aigua operates as a municipal facility linked to Barcelona’s History Museum. Its spaces perform both social and cultural functions and bear witness to the city's hydraulic past and its impact on the people who lived there. A devastating example of this impact is a typhoid epidemic in 1914 caused by the contaminated water supply that killed 2000 people. All this history is reflected in the virtual tour, which combines articles, videos and old images that make people aware of the importance of good water treatment and supply in a city like Barcelona.

Visit this exhibition through this link.

 

Publication date: Wednesday, 24 June 2020
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