Stadtwald in Augsburg © augsburg.de
Stadtwald in Augsburg © augsburg.de

UNESCO World Heritage 2019: Water Management System of Augsburg

Augsburg boasts of one of the first water management systems installed since Roman Antiquity. Built int he 13th century, it is now listed as World Heritage

Hexenbrunnen in Augsburg 1925. Source: Wikipedia
Hexenbrunnen in Augsburg 1925. Source: Wikipedia

The Water Management System of Augsburg is a sustainable system of water management developed since the Middle Ages. Mentioned for the first time in 1276, water was canalised in the Lochbach and brought into the city to provide water for the mills, tanneries, textile workshops, and goldsmiths. Since 1346 water came from the Hochablass. Later, in the 15thcentury, water-power was used in domestic hydraulic systems. By 1545 water for drinking and crafts were kept strictly separate. This medieval system was intact until the end of the 19thcentury, when new waterworks including a turbine and pumping station was introduced. At this point, at new canal was dug along the Lech, to the north of Augsburg.

The Water management System in Augsburg is an exceptional preserved structure based on a series of canals, water courses, waterworks, hydro-technical structures, fountains and a water-cooled meat cutting hall.

Today, the system consists of

  • The original canals dated to the end of the 13thcentury. These canals are still in use. The canal dug in 1879 – the Eiskanal – has ben turned into a canoe course.
  • The domestic waterworks, developed between 15thand 19thcentury. Drinking water was lifted to expansion basins on the top of the city towers – Rotes Tor, Unterer Brunneturm, Vogeltor and the Lower waterworks.
  • The Hochablass weir with its water engeneering structures
  • Three monumental fountains – the Augustus Fountain (1594), the Mercury Fountain (1599) and the Hercules Fountain (1602)
  • A water-cooled butcher’s hall from the early 17thcentury
  • Hydraulic power-stations from the 19thcentury

The nominated property covers an area of 112 ha and are bordered by the limits of the canal system; to the south, the Stadtwald, to the east, the Lech River, to the west, the Wertach River, and in the north, the Lechkanal.

Water Management System in Augsburg. Source: Wikipedia
Water Management System in Augsburg. Source: Wikipedia

SOURCES

2019. Evaluations and Nominations of Cultural and Mixed Properties. ICOMOS report for the world Heritage Comittee, 43rd ordinary session, Baku 30. june – 10 of July 2019.

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Das Augsburger-Wassermanagement-System

 

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