Besòs Water Tower | Barcelona Bus Turístic

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Besòs Water Tower

A tower from industrial Barcelona with panoramic views

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Constructed to supply water to the city of Barcelona, it is now a large structure that offers a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. Besòs Water Tower was used to supply the industrial zone of Poblenou until, thanks to the Olympic Games and the reorganisation of the district, it was renovated as a historic monument and lookout point.

Why visit Besòs Water Tower?

Besòs Water Tower is a singular building that was constructed to supply water to the city of Barcelona after a long period of drought in 1882. Its architect was Pere Falqués, who would go on to create the lamppost benches on Passeig de Gràcia and Sants market.

The place chosen to capture water was the right bank of the river Besòs, currently in the Sant Martí district, where a tower designed to be some 80 metres tall was to be erected with two tanks, one at 40 metres and the other at 80, to store water provided by the pumping station. The tower was inaugurated in 1882 when it was still not finished and was only 51 metres tall, the height it still has to this day.

Architecturally, the pumping station and the tower are examples of the Catalan building tradition. They are constructed in solid brick without stone masonry and steel beams are used only to support the roofs of the tower and the station. The main staircase of the tower is a Catalan vault.

Unfortunately, even though the company had carefully studied the quality of the water, it turned out to have high levels of salinity and was declared not suitable for consumption in 1889. However, the tower was reoriented to supply the metalworking industries that surrounded it, which made good use of it until this sector started to be remodelled after the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games.

It was as a result of the Olympic Games that both the tower and the pumping station were restored as a cultural site and to offer a lookout point from which you can see Barcelona and its surroundings.

 

How do you get to Besòs Water Tower?

The tower is on Carrer de la Selva de Mar, right next to the Parc Diagonal Mar stop on the Green Route.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? The pumping station contains a piece by the German artist Blinky Palermo. It is "Himmelsrichtungen" (Cardinal Points), a sculpture piece formed by four large glass walls painted with acrylic paint and supported by laminated steel profiles. It was the artist’s last work and he presented it at the Venice Biennale in 1976. His heirs donated it to Barcelona upon Palermo’s death in 1977.

  • Local’s tip: The water tower is between Palo Alto and Diagonal Mar Park, which together form a perfect route to enjoy the past, present and future of this district of Barcelona.

  • A must: To get an unusual panoramic view of Barcelona.