Lisbon Museums: Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras Reservoir
Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras Reservoir
The Mãe d'Água ("Mother of Water") is at the end of the impressive Aqueduto das Águas Livres and is a huge 18th century reservoir initially designed by the Hungarian architect Carlos Mardel in 1746 and completed (after several changes) by Reinaldo Manuel dos Santos. The structure was finally completed in 1834.
The central water tank is approximately 7.5 metres deep with a capacity of 5500m³.
It is possible to climb on to the flat roof of the reservoir for fantastic views over the area and as far as the River Tagus. The Casa do Registo (Register House) at Rua da Amoreiras, controlled the flow of water for the supply of the city's fountains, factories, convents and palaces.
The Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras Reservoir was sometimes used for leisure purposes including the wedding celebrations of Dom Luís I of Portugal and his bride Dona Maria Pia of Savoy.
The cool interior resembles a church and altar with the water spouting from the mouth of a dolphin onto a cascade. Though now no longer supplying Lisbon with its water, the Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras Reservoir remains a true "temple of water" and a lovely way to cool down in the summer.
The Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras Reservoir is one of a number of structures maintained by the Museu d'Água and includes several fountains in Lisbon, the Águas Livres Aqueduct, best seen near Campolide Station, the Loreto Gallery, the Patriarcal Reservoir under the Principe Real Garden and the Barbadinhos Steam Pumping Station, not far from Santa Apolonia Station.
The Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras Reservoir is adjacent to the Jardim das Amoreiras which has a small cafe with outdoor seating and across from the Fundação Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva.
The small Capela de Nossa Senhora de Monserrate church stands beneath one of the arches of the aqueduct within the Jardim das Amoreiras. The church was built in 1768 and dedicated to Our Lady of Monserrate in honor of the patron saint of the French silk artisans who came to the Royal Factory in Lisbon to ply their trade.
Praça das Amoreiras, 10
Tel: 21 325 1644
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 10am-12.30pm; 1.30pm-5.30pm
Admission: 5 Euros
The nearest Lisbon metro station is Rato.
Alternatively take a Lisbon bus any of numbers: 706, 709, 727, or 758.