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From Bay Area to Barcelona

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Museu Agbar [ Saturday, 18 Aug 07 | 13:39 ]
[Tags|, , ]
[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |geekygeeky]

Museum entrance

On the newer Metro trains there are LCD screens that provide informational videos as well as the name of the next stop. I noticed a clip describing the Museu Agbar de les Aigües or Agbar Museum of Water. Since the museum is only a short walk from the end of line L5, I decided to visit it.

Torre Agbar
Agbar headquarters

The name Agbar is short for “Barcelona water”, which is the stockholder company that supplies water to the Barcelona area. The museum is situated in the old pumping station that extracts water from the aquafer of the Llobregat River. The museum has old steam engine pumps and more modern electrical pumps along with displays concerning water delivery.

Pump house and chimney

It was interesting that the Romans had essentially solved the problem of water distribution and sewage collection nearly two-thousand years ago. They had examples of various types of Roman piping and newer styles that have been in use only in relatively recent times. One of the comments made was that after the decline of the Roman empire, the water systems in the area controlled by the Muslims (Moors) were maintained better than in the Christian zone.

Electrical pump room

Since this was a pump house, they had many interactive displays of various types of pumps dating back to Archimedes. Also they stressed the importance of water conservation, just like when I lived in California.


[User Picture]From: cuboz
Sunday, 19 Aug 07 | 10:12 (UTC)
I love museums related to technology, and industry. There's a museum in Melbourne, based in a old sewerage pumping works...it's really quite fascinating!

You would LOVE the Powerhouse Museum here in Sydney - http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/

It's one of my favourite places to go, and take visitors....

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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 20 Aug 07 | 05:52 (UTC)

Powerhouse Museum

Sounds good to me!

I really need to see the CosmoCaixa here before school starts again.

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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Monday, 20 Aug 07 | 09:10 (UTC)
Barcelona also hosts two remarkable museums:

Museu del Clavegueram (Sewerage)
and Museu de les Carrosses Funebres (hoarses)

Never been to those two ones
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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 20 Aug 07 | 16:11 (UTC)

Museu del Clavegueram (Sewerage)

i found this clever commentary about this museum on the Sewer Safari page...

Catalunya was under the thumb of the central powers in Madrid for hundreds of years. When the facist dictator Franco finally died in the mid 70s, natives were finally able to reclaim their dying tounge — and they did so with the kind of passion a Quebecios would be envious of. Unfortunately, it was only after I was on my way that three words, tancat per reformes, appeared under the heading, "comments" in the English section of their website. After a series of phonecalls (to a wonderfull catalonian speaking machine) and fruitless visits to the museum itself did I discover the phrase means, "closed for repairs" — which the museum still is.

Lovely city though.

When the facility is reformado, you'll be able to see exhibits on the city's sewer history, ramble through a big chunk of them dug up during construction for the 1992 Olympic games, and make an appointment to see the real thing.

UPDATE: For a good view of the Barcelona sewer, see a scarecrow-like Christian Bale wade through Catalonian poo in The Machinist. Interstingly, the movie was shot to look like Los Angeles, but is in fact Barcelona. LA doesn't have sewers nearly as cool. [Don’t forget the three chimneys at Sant Adrià too!]

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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Monday, 20 Aug 07 | 16:39 (UTC)

Re: Museu del Clavegueram (Sewerage)

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[User Picture]From: ursine1
Monday, 20 Aug 07 | 16:22 (UTC)

Museu de les Carrosses Funebres (hoarses)

I tried to figure out what you meant by "hoarses". Did you mean "horses" or "hoarse throat". Actually, you meant hearses or funeral carriages. I found that this museum also has an unusual location: the basement of Barcelona's morgue!

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[User Picture]From: gorkabear
Monday, 20 Aug 07 | 16:37 (UTC)

Re: Museu de les Carrosses Funebres (hoarses)

Ouch, I got it wrong :(
There are a couple more of weird museums here, I just can't remember them
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