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Barbadinhos Steam Pumping Station
The population growth in the city of Lisbon meant that the water supplied by the Águas Livres Aqueduct was no longer enough. To meet the demand for water at the time, a new aqueduct was built from 1871 to 1880, the Alviela aqueduct, which was prepared to transport water collected 114km north of Lisbon from the Olhos de Água sources on the Alviela river.

The final reservoir of the water transported using the Alviela aqueduct was set within an extinct Franciscan convent that had been occupied by the Italian religious order of the Barbadinhos, from 1747 to 1834. It was called the Barbadinhos Reservoir.

A steam pumping station was built next to the Barbadinhos Reservoir to pump the water from the Alviela Reservoir to the city of Lisbon. It went into operation on 3 October 1880.

The building that housed the pumping station had three wings: the coal deposit, the boiler area and the steam equipment area.

The “Machine Room” was on the upper floor of the building area and housed the 4 steam machines, made by French manufacturer E. Windsor & Fils (Rouen, Normandy), acquired in 1876. On the ground level one found the “Pump Room” where the respective pumps were housed. The five boilers were located in another area, in the so-called “Boiler Room”.

The third area of this building was a coal deposit to feed into the boilers and respective furnaces.

The building also had an outdoor chimney, 40 metres tall and 1.8 metres wide to extract the smoke from burning the coal. The boilers and the chimney were demolished in the 1950’s after having been inactive for several years.

The Barbadinhos Steam Pumping Station operated from 1880 to 1928. It currently has the former steam machines and respective pumps, wealthy testimonies of industrial archaeology. In 2010 the pumping station building was classified as a Set of Public Interest (Ordinance no. 1176/2010 of 14 December).

The building houses the Water Museum’s permanent collection, EPAL’s Historical Archive and a multi-purpose room where it is possible to host events, temporary exhibitions or conferences.

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