A plan to regain the route and historical memory of the Rec Comtal

Covering a distance of nearly 13 kilometres, the ancient Medieval channel supplied the city with water between the 10th and 20th centuries. Barcelona City Council is seeking to regain the environment along the Rec Comtal, conserving its historical memory through thirty measures relating to planning, landscape and heritage. Notable steps include the creation of new spaces along the channel as points of interest, knowledge and interpretation. The water channel is a way of understanding the social and economic development of the city over the last thousand years.

28/01/2023 10:36 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The actions proposed in the master plan from Barcelona City Council are designed to regain the channel as a green infrastructure with an urban path along its route, much of which is hidden below ground. Nine spaces will be created for people to use and for promoting knowledge and the historical interpretation of the Rec Comtal. These steps include the recovery and greening up of the former Plaça del Molí de les Basses, in Ciutat Vella, and the transformation of the Parc del Molí, in Sant Andreu, to preserve the archaeological remains and create an aquatic garden.

The plan also envisages the application of heritage criteria in the buildings constructed along the old route of the water channel. The goal is to preserve any heritage elements of the Medieval channel in any building work there.

A thousand years of history

The Rec Comtal was an open water channel built in the 10th century, in the times of Count Miró I. It ran from Montcada i Reixac and crossed the whole city, making its way through the districts of Nou Barris, Sant Andreu, Sant Martí, L’Eixample and Ciutat Vella before reaching the sea. Covering a distance of nearly 13 kilometres, the channel was used for watering, powering mills and later on, supplying the textile industries in Sant Andreu.


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