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Moorish Waterwheels

Water was considered as scarce by Mallorca’s Moorish population (902-1229) and, at the same time, as a divine gift. Evidence of their reverence and of their hydrological skills are the ancient Norias (waterwheels, Catalan: Sínias) of which a few are still around, some of them having been lovingly restored.

Let me show you three prime examples of historic Norias, one from Muro (photo above), the second one from Sa Pobla (photo centre) and the third one, from Porreres (photo bottom).

Norias were usually driven by donkeys or mules, and were normally furnished with cadufos (ceramic pots) to bring up the water for further distribution.

Below, you’ll find an illustration of an Egyptian Noria waterwheel, borrowed from The image is credited as a drawing made on the spot by David Roberts and lithographed by Louis Haghe. Thank you very much, and

Muchas gracias.

The photos were taken in Muro, Sa Pobla and Porreres, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The dates: March 10th and April 10th, 2011. The time was 12:56:14, 14:34:13 and 11:09:20, respectively.

2 replies »

  1. These are wonderful, fascinating structures. Do you have any information about the ‘aljubs’ in Mallorca? There’s a series of three on hill behind Bendinat golf course, I would love to see photos of them here.

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