Antas has always stood for innovation in the field of agriculture. A stunning symbol of this progress, the Aqueduct is a project that, in early 20th century, introduced the use of a revolutionary invention to service irrigation: the steam engine.

The impressive example of 20th-century hydraulic engineering illustrates the remarkable development of the fertile lands in Antas. Traditionally devoted to agriculture and closely linked to the cultivation of oranges, this locality has transformed subsistence farming, based on cereals and vegetables, into a strong industry with global dimensions.

Owners of an estate in Antas that spread out over more than 123.6 acres, the wealthy, bourgeois Giménez family from Madrid, with a background in industry, mining and politics, were responsible for setting the agricultural development in motion. It was Manuel Giménez Ramírez who, in 1905, masterminded the procurement of a municipal licence to replace the donkey or mule-pulled waterwheel with a modern hydraulic contraption powered by a “steam engine,” a technological innovation that was already in use in Almagrera, a mining area.

The infrastructure was built towards 1915. It featured a 300-metre aqueduct with an impressive section of semi-circular arches. Both the aqueduct and the adjoining warehouse that accommodated the water extraction pump were designed in an architectural style imitating other contemporary mining constructions, typical of mountain and coastal buildings in the southeast of Spain.

The warehouse featured a long, notable flue that towered up between 25 and 30 metres. Visually it was more representative of industrial areas in large cities than in rural zones. The wind typical of the area and the extreme heat of the fumes, which reached up to 250 degrees centigrade, led to a slight inclination in the chimney over the years.

After the restoration works undertaken in ’99, part of the Aqueduct stands proudly as a monument on the road from the El Real district to the town centre of Antas.



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