Fountain of the four spouts
Vera - Almería

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Carrying the dirty washing on their shoulders a mother and daughter greet each other. The mother carries her mistress´s clothes while her daughter takes care of the house sheets.

The course of the centuries has allowed this story to repeat itself as part of the Arab heritage which left behind a water culture adapted to a country that is little accustomed to rain. An example is the Fuente de los Cuatro Caños or Fountain of the four spouts known in antiquity as the Fuente Chica or Small Fountain. Its origin is a gallery or driving channel over a meter and a half tall, a hydraulic engineering design of undeniable Arabic imprint built by the first Arab people inhabiting the nearby Espíritu Santo Hill.

Its small water volume was intended mainly as a watering hole for animals and as a water supply for the population. Only the small surplus was collected and sold for irrigation. Imagine the queues of people with their pitchers and donkeys dressed in the typical aguaeras in the early morning heat of Almeria´s Levante summer.

It was not until 1873 that a new reform gave the fountain its characteristic four spouts that lead to its name Fuente de los Cuatro Caños (Fountain of the Four Spouts). In addition, the 2,615 pesetas invested in this project brought drinking water to the population, although only through one of its four jets.

An important transformation took place at the beginning of the 20th century when in 1902 a laundry area was added. This became a place of work and also the meeting point for local people. It has now been restored next to the fountain, opening way to the Water Culture Interpretation Center which helps to remind us that only few did not come to this place to water their beasts or wash their clothes.