The oldest dam in Europe is in Alicante.
Taken from: Weekly You first. No 38, Year 2, 17-23 January, Alicante, 2012.
The Alicants can boast of many things unusual and unique, including our climate and character of our people, but there is a hidden heritage for many of us who rarely have a chance to meet him. Today we show you one of those points that have been fortunate to have improved recently thanks to an investment that has facilitated their return to splendor when it was built between 1640 and 1672.
Elche reservoir has a dome dam, built in two sections taking advantage of a rocky promontory in the middle. It was built in the seventeenth century on the Vinalopó river, between the Sierra de Elche and the hill of Castellar, making it the first arch dam in Europe. Originally built to retain flood waters of the Vinalopó river common in the period of heavy rainfall, and use this water for the irrigation. Have these avenues along the life of the dam which have been responsible for filling the reservoir basin with sediment, reducing water retention capacity and forced to perform several cleanings to recover its capacity. The 1995 regulatory gate burst, causing a flood of sludge that contributed to empty the reservoir. In September 2007 began the rehabilitation of the dam to hold back water, creating instead a natural marsh type, which is believed to vegetation and wildlife. In March 2008, the dam begins to hold water after a period of 13 years practically abandoned.
Currently the work is recognized as a Cultural by the Generalitat Valenciana, and as you can see in the photo shoot, has become a place of pilgrimage for thousands and thousands of tourists daily. It is our recommendation to make a getaway with shoes, backpack, and of course, a great snack to compensate the appetite, because this natural yet no restaurants or similar where you can have a beer with tapas. Getting to this crown jewel of Alicante is easy, is perfectly suited their access from the heart of the beautiful Elche, other asset, in this case of humanity.