We are pleased to announce that on 15, 16 and 17 March 2018, El Born Centre of Culture and Memory will host the 2nd International Archaeology Symposium at El Born CCM, which aims to promote the study of Barcelona’s Rec Comtal.

The Rec Comtal is one of the most important water infrastructures in Barcelona’s history. We do not know exactly when it was built, however what we can say is that it has its origins in the first-century Roman aqueduct and remained in operation until 20th century.

Water is a vital element in the development of community life. In this sense, water collection and control has always been one of the main concerns of human  communities. Namely, the Romans were great hydraulic engineers and architects who planned and built a substantial network of water-related structures: aqueducts, pipelines, fountains, thermal baths, sewers and so on.

The Rec was an open air canal spanning across 13 km of the city from the Montcada springs to the sea. Various settlements sprang up around this large waterway which now form some of Barcelona’s current neighbourhoods, with Rec Comtal passing  through five districts of the city. It developed over the course of many political and social changes that left their mark on this region, from the late Middle Ages to the  20th century, when the Rec disappeared as a structure, but not in the community’s memory.

The Rec Comtal is just one of many. Various terms and activities enable us to explore it in more detail: water management, agriculture, the economy, employment, urban development, engineering, leisure, heritage, knowledge and so on.

From this perspective, Barcelona City Council is currently working on a project to restore and give value to the Rec. Through the 2nd International Symposium on Archaeology at El Born CCM, we would like to highlight all of the research that has enabled us to understand the Rec Comtal from various perspectives, as a living memory of our past in the present day, as well as a source of knowledge for various fields.

A second newsletter, which will be published in late September, will include the names of some of the speakers and the titles of their presentations.

Download the 1st newsletter