The Barcelona City Council Archaeology Service and the Agbar Foundation signed their third consecutive agreement on Monday to boost projects for the recovery of the remains of the Rec Comtal, the medieval canal that supplied Barcelona with water from the River Besòs for 900 years up to the 19th century.
The agreement will ensure continuity for the work of recovering 22 zones along the route of the Rec Comtal, including leisure, rest and archaeological interpretation areas. The aim is to strengthen the natural and agricultural character of the surrounding areas, where water can be recovered from one of the most important water infrastructures in the city. In modern-day Barcelona, the Rec runs through the districts of Ciutat Vella, Sant Martí, L’Eixample, Sant Andreu and Nou Barris.
The agreement also includes creating a webdoc, an interactive documentary with a web-based interface, which will offer the public a variety of visit experiences related to the Rec Comtal. Through video interviews of neighbours, historians and archaeologists describing their experiences, a historical image gallery of the Rec, illustrations and historical recordings, 3D recreations of the city’s canal and water channels and old georeferenced maps, among others, users can build their own experience of the Rec Comtal, from a variety of angles: experience, history, architecture, urban planning or science and technology, among others.
The signing of the agreement was attended by Ignacio Escudero, General Manager of Aigües de Barcelona and trustee of the Agbar Foundation, Berta Sureda, Barcelona City Council Commissioner for Culture, and Ricard Vinyes, Barcelona City Council Commissioner for Historical Memory Programmes.
Three years ago, the start of the collaboration between the Agbar Foundation and Barcelona City Council enabled the research project ‘From the Roman aqueduct to the Rec Comtal: two thousand years of supplying water to Barcelona’ to go ahead, the aim of which was to publicise the heritage and archaeological value of this medieval canal. The project enabled most of the elements of the city canal and its development to be identified. Indeed, the latest archaeological findings in the Plaça de les Glòries and Carrer del Dos de Maig have accelerated the plan to protect and restore the Rec Comtal from Montcada i Reixac to the district of Ciutat Vella, which will involve the creation of a green intercity axis in the near future, guaranteeing protection for the remains of this infrastructure, essential to understanding the growth and development of Barcelona in recent centuries.