Photographs of a subterranean trip through the irrigation channel Aljufía

We descend through a narrow mouth in the part of the irrigation channel that passes through the city of Murcia (Spain). Under layers of asphalt, brick and concrete beams, the main irrigation channel Aljufía continues its course, a channel whose construction dates back at least to the ninth century. It was part of a work of the Islamic civilisation that founded Mursiya and was a hydraulic system to control the flooding of the city and served as a moat to the north wall of the City.

Rosa María Hervás, coordinator of the Masters in Education and Museums of the University of Murcia (UMU) and member of the Murcia Association of Educators of Museums and Patrimonies (Amurem), José Antonio Moreno, member of Huerta Viva, Benito Abellán, guardian of the irrigation ditch, Juan Tovar, vocal of the Aljufía in the “Junta de Hacendados” and the archaeologist José Antonio Manzano accompanied us on our journey . For almost 2 kilometres we pass through the Aljufía hidden under the streets of the city of Murcia (Spain) from Calle (street) Enrique Villar (Near the Plaza de la Universidad de Murcia) to Calle Acisclo Diaz (next to the Palacio San Esteban)

Entrada a la acequia Aljufía en Murcia

Photograph the hidden heritage

The citizens no longer remember that they pass daily over the impressive and unknown brick vaults that today cover the canal, under the central streets of the city. The Aljufía hides a heritage that runs the risk of getting lost over time. You can still find in it remains of what look like holders of steels (waterwheels to raise the water), starts of bridges, starters and gates.

La acequia Aljufía subterráneo en Murcia

Rosa María Hervás tries to avoid an obstacle in a narrow and low part of the underground irrigation channel

Aljufía restos de lo que parecen soportes de aceñas

Remains of what appear to be holders of watermills (waterwheels to raise the water) and bridge starts.

Show it to the world

The idea of all those involved is to ensure that Calle (Street) Acequia – now formed by the streets Acisclo Díaz, Maestro Alonso and Santa Clara – once again show citizens the existence of Aljufía, a symbol of the union of the orchard with the city and that in its day so much wealth contributed to the city.

La acequia Aljufía subterráneo
The Aljufía closed with brick in its passage through the city of Murcia
Entrada a la acequia Aljufía
Narrow access to the irrigation channel
Aljufía visto desde una de las bocas
View from the underground irrigation channel to the street
Salida de la acequia Mayor Aljufía a la altura del palacio de San Esteban
Departure from the main canal Aljufía at the height of the San Esteban palace in Murcia
La estrecha salida de la Aljufía
The archaeologist José Antonio Manzano leaving by the stairs


More information:

Article in the newspaper la Verdad (Spanish)

Article in la Opinion de Murcia (Spanish)

Video on youtube (Spanish)