What to visit / Themed routes / Water Culture Trail / Torre de les Aigües del Besòs (Besòs water tower)
  • Torre de les Aigües del Besòs – Industrial Relics Trail

  • Torre de les Aigües del Besòs - Barcelona

Torre de les Aigües del Besòs (Besòs water tower)

The Besòs water tower is one of the most outstanding landmarks in the Poblenou neighbourhood and an important part of Barcelona's industrial heritage. It consists of a circular brick structure with a staircase on the outside with Catalan timbrel vaults underpinned by metal corbels. The staircase leads to the Poblenou viewing point at the top, which boasts superlative views of the city.

The architect Pere Falqués designed the tower for the water company, the Compañía General Anònima de Aguas de Barcelona. It stands 124 metres high and has two tanks placed at a height of 51 and 80 metres respectively. It drew up water from the aquifers beneath the river Besòs to supply the city with running water. The tower has an ancillary building, known as the Casa de les Vàlvules, which housed the pumps and boilers that drove the water into the tanks.

The company enjoyed great success until Barcelona City Council banned it from supplying water because it was too heavily salinated. It is said that the decision led the main investor in the company to throw himself from the top of the tower. In 1895, it was purchased by the water company, the Societat General d'Aigües de Barcelona, who used it for industrial purposes. In 1922, the heavy engineering company MACOSA, which stood next door, bought the tower so that it could use the water supply. Barcelona City Council bought and restored the water tower as part of the redevelopment scheme for the 1992 Olympic Games.

The tower is currently one of the recommended historic sites on the Industrial Relics Trail and has an exhibition inside that bears witness to Poblenou's industrial past and Barcelona's water supply.

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