The Barbacana Pond is an ancient Celtiberian water store that was recently discovered in 1998, following an archaeological dig on the site where it is located. It is the largest pond of its type in Europe
It dates back some 2,100 years when it was built to hold the waters of a spring that begins 800 meters up on the high part of the hill where the town of Laguardia sits.
The Celtiberians took advantage of the layers of subsoil to erect dry stone walls. There are several walls that overlap providing proof that the pond was enlarged at various times, although in some cases these appear to be the result of repairs and reinforcements made to the structures.
The general shape of the pond is irregular, although the central part is almost rectangular, with maximum measurements of 18 x 15 meters and perimeter walls that vary in height between 0.85 and 3.10 meters. The total estimated surface area covers 218 square meters, of which 126 meters correspond to the lower vessel and 92 meters to the upper one.
Its function was to guarantee a stable supply of water to the place, with a storage capacity of 300,000 litres, although it is believed that it was also used for used for ritualistic purposes. Archaeological finds found in the pond and the discovery of a nearby Roman altar dedicated to the Matronae, of clear Celtic roots, and associated with mineral-medicinal aquifers, support this theory.
Who built this pond?
When the people of the neighbouring settlement of La Hoya left the place where they had lived throughout first millennium B.C., they moved to this hill, which offered them a better defensive position. Here they created a new settlement, which is currently being discovered under the houses of Laguardia, and they built the pond that was used during the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.
The Interpretation Centre
Alongside the pond, a unique museographic facility based on an original idea to help to appreciate the importance of this hydraulic structure and the life of the people who used this aquifer over the centuries. Advanced audiovisual means, graphic and textual information, as well as objects related to each of the stages, allow the visitors to move through different periods in history.
The Barbacana Pond is located in Laguardia This town is 48 kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz, taking the A-2124 through the Puerto de Vitoria mountain pass and the BU- to reach the N-232a which takes us to our destination. This is an interesting scenic route but it is also possible to go via the A-1, N-124 and the N-232a.
Laguardia is less than 20 kilometres from Logroño via the N-232a.