Qânat and siquies of the Font de la Vila. Aqueduct of Pont den Vell

Qânat and siquies of the Font de la Vila. Aqueduct of Pont den Vell

  • Tipology: Engineering
  • Funcionality: Water supply for the village
  • Dating: 16th century

Sos Monjos. Carretera Artà- Alcúdia. Torrent des Revolts

The Font de la Vila in s'Hort des Bril was an important water supply point for the village of Artà since the Muslim period. Over the years, a series of structures were created to overcome the difficulties presented by the unevenness of the land. Nowadays, we can find some remains of all this infrastructure created to transport water from its original spring to distribute it among the country and the village. Pont den Vell is the best example, an impressive aqueduct dated from the 16th century. It is situated over Es Revolts torrent, a hundred meters away from town, on the Artà-Alcudia road. Defined by a round arch made with pieces of sandstone, stone and mortar, it has a big buttress to support its weight on one of its sides. We find other points where the canal is preserved -no admission for unauthorised persons for security reasons-, probably reusing the old Muslim water network known as Qânat. Qânat is a network of subterranean water canals (siquies) built around the 10th century during the Arab occupation of the island. Construction consisted in excavating a shaft down to the aquifer, from where the water springs. The water was drawn out using a small canals and gravity. The entire complex was covered by a dry-stone barrel vault and every so often a cistern was built, offering access for maintenance as well as providing air and light. We find the Qânat of Font de la Vila on the Artà-Alcudia road, 300 metres away from the aquifers and two kilometres away from town. It features a 100 meters long mine with eight cisterns or entrances. Its dimensions permit access by one person on foot. The gallery was excavated using dry-stone supports on the sides and is covered with irregular and plain stone blocks. At some points, its flat roof becomes a gable roof. The central canal is excavated in the rock to permit water circulation on its sides. This construction is still used to this day due to its quality and functionality.

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