The Water Tower del Besos was built in the 1880s funded by industrialist Xavier Camps and with the project by the architect Pere Falqués. Its inauguration took place in June 1882 when it reached 63 meters high and with 303 steps, far from the 80 meters originally planned. Despite the reduction in height, it became the tallest building in Barcelona at the time. Its original function was to store and supply water to the city, taking advantage of the groundwater del Besos River, which were declared fit for human consumption. After putting in doubt the water quality, the project failed and, over time, the water was declared for industrial use and the tower was definitively linked to industrial development in Barcelona for almost a century.
Between 2010 and 2012 the tower and the house of the valves (an annex building housing the machinery needed to push water to the reservoir of the tower) were rehabilitated with funds from the City of Barcelona. Currently you can visit it with a guide. The tour starts in the basement and gets to the terrace, which offers spectacular views of Barcelona. On each floor the guide makes a stop to explain its peculiarities, adding interesting nuances and anecdotes to the general account of its history and architecture.
Curiosity: The Tower of the Aigües is unique in its kind because it is built only with bricks, without any element or beam of iron. Despite being a technical construction, the architect wanted to provide it with ornamental architectural elements, so that none of the floors looks the same.
Visiting hours - The Torre de les Aigües del Besòs (2022)
- Saturday: 12:00 p.m.
- Closed in August.
- The visits are carried out in Catalan or Spanish, and in other languages on request.
- Single ticket: €5 in advance and €6 in the tower.
- Reduced admission for retirees, the unemployed, young people between 12 and 18, and library cards: €5.
- Free admission for children under 12 years old (each must be accompanied by an adult).
- Ticket for groups (maximum 15 people): €5 per person.