Cultura

From the Incrédulos Fountain to the Huerva

The route starts at the south of the city, in Casablanca district, one of the two ports of the Canal Imperial, where Ramón de Pignatelli built the Fuente de los Incrédulos (the Skepticals Fountain) (1786). The Canal Imperial is the fourth big waterway of Zaragoza. It flows parallel to the Ebro, approximately along 108 km on the right bank, through the regions of Navarre and Aragon. Certainly, the history of its construction is long. It starts in the 16th century, under the king Carlos I, who wished to build an irrigation channel and make the river Ebro navigable. The plan -prepared by the architect Gil de Morlanes - remained unfinished, since its waters never reached Zaragoza, and works stopped during the 16th and 17th centuries. Besides that, in 1722, the dam at the headwaters broke down and was not used any more. Under the Bourbons rule, from the second half of the 18th century, the plan was recovered, and finally, in 1772, Ramón de Pignatelli, appointed as Protector of the Canal Imperial and after several years, ended the works and took the water from the Canal to Zaragoza. He built two ports in the city: Casablanca and Miraflores. At Casablanca, he built a commemorative fountain with two spouts, in an elegant Neoclassic style with an inscription saying "Incredulorum convictioni", that is "For convincing the skeptical". It was the first fountain of Zaragoza for supplying water to the population, in this case, for travellers from the Camino Real (Royal Way) of Zaragoza to Valencia, made in a sober Neoclassical aspect.

Going along the Canal Imperial and round the monument built by Ángel Orensanz for commemorating the 2,000 Years of the Foundation of the City (1978) -according to some experts an allegory of the river Ebro pouring its gifts- we arrive at a new bridge placed at Primo de Rivera Park (or Parque Grande), one of the most important green spaces of the city. Apart from the Canal Imperial, the Park is crossed by the river Huerva. Walking along its banks we can admire several fountains, some of them monumental and others simply for creating a sensorial pleasure with the flowing water.