Steam Pumping Station of Barbadinhos – Water Museum
- Original Authors:
Located within the perimeter of an extinct Franciscan convent, occupied by the religious order of the Italian Capuchins (‘Barbadinhos’), the final reservoir for the water coming through the Alviela aqueduct was named Barbadinhos Reservoir.
Close to the reservoir, a steam pumping station was built — pumping the water from the Alviela aqueduct into the city —, operating between 1880 and 1928. The station’s building was composed of three bodies: the coal deposit, the boilers area and the steam engines area. In order to extract the smoke from coal burning, it also relied on an outer chimney, roughly 40 metres tall and with a 1,8-metre inner diameter, which was demolished years later. After remaining inoperative for many years, the building is renovated in 1950, becoming the headquarters of the Water Museum. Even though both the boilers and the chimney were demolished, the old steam engines and pumps — made by French manufacturer E. Windsor & Fils — were preserved. The beauty and the state of preservation of these objects legitimated their conservation as the main feature of the museum’s patrimony, an enriching testimony of industrial archaeology. In 2010, the steam pumping station was classified as Ensemble of Public Interest.
Photography not allowed