Countries<Spain<Comunidad Valenciana<Algar de Palancia< Cisterna d’Algar de Palancia

Cisterna d’Algar de Palancia(Algar de Palancia)

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The waters of the Arguines ravine passed through the village and were used by its inhabitants for domestic needs, but when there was a drought, the village found itself without the water necessary for these uses and, above all, for drinking. For this reason, the second year (1610) in which Algar was populated again, the villagers bought a piece of land and built a cistern in the same place as the current one, but much smaller and uncovered at the top, where the necessary water was extracted.

This is how the years went by until the increase in population meant that the water in the cistern was consumed in a short time and for many years it ran out in mid-summer, so it had to be filled again with water, which was corrupted because it was not clean enough. The town agreed to ask for the corresponding permission for its enlargement and, once it was obtained, half of the old cistern was demolished, enlarging it with land purchased for this purpose, with the same neighbours taking turns to build it. The water was drawn in the same way as in the previous cistern. The staircase was built many years later and the current roof was made using some metal beams that belonged to the iron bridge over the river Palancia, destroyed by the flood of 1896.

The building has a quadrangular floor plan and it is worth mentioning the access to the tap and the basin used by the users through a smooth ramp, built with stones from the river in a herringbone pattern. At the end is the entrance door behind which a staircase begins, with three steps to the right that lead to the old tap and basin. To its left there is a bench attached to it. One of the places where the tap and basin were located is a semi-dome, while the rest has a single-pitched roof. For cleaning the cistern there is a cylindrical hut with a wooden door and a tiled roof at the back.

In the last years of its operation, the cistern was used mainly during the summer months because the general water level dropped and the water in the cistern was kept very cool.

The cistern played a very important role until the village had a public fountain in the Plaza Mayor and until drinking water was installed in all the houses.

The elders still remember when the women of the village took turns opening and closing the cistern, as well as watching over it and cleaning it during the months it was open.

It must also be said that the last municipal corporations have tried to improve both the building and the surroundings of the cistern with a series of measures

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