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Barcelona’s medieval canal, Rec Comtal, may be even older than we thought

rec comtal

The Archeology Service of Barcelona presented the details of this conclusion at the third International Archeological Symposium organized by El Born CCM. As its representative, Carme Miro, describes, the group’s investigations into Plaza de Les Glòries and the Arc de Triomf, which are connected with the canal, provide evidence that allows the organization to claim that Rec Comtal is actually a Roman aqueduct. All these sites “trace back in time even further than the documented data has demonstrated in the past.” In the Glòries district, there is a canal whose history can be dated back to the IX century, while the Arc de Triomf canal could have been constructed in the X century.

Numerous historical artifacts establish the connection between el Rec and the Roman aqueduct. It is quite possible that in addition to Rec, with a construction date usually estimated as the year 1040, there may have existed a second, much more ancient canal. “It is quite probable that this Rec of the IX century, which actually could have been built as early as the VIII century, is linked to the Andalusians’ arrival in Barcelona and their introduction of another type of irrigation system,” Miro informs us.

When the second fortress wall of Barcelona was being erected, one of the two aqueduct branches was blocked. As a result, only one canal was preserved.


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