Canal de Castilla, an impressive work of engineering

Castilla Channel
As we have already told you on many occasions, Spain It has nothing to envy other countries in the world when it comes to natural wonders. And it is that between our borders we can find from paradisiacal coves and beaches, to mountains of authentic beauty. However, our country has much more to offer: charming towns, cities with a long history, beautiful inns ...

Today, for example, we want to show you an impressive piece of hydraulic engineering. Possibly it is the most ambitious one carried out in our country. Yes, we are talking about Channel of Castilla. Do you want to know more details about this work declared a Site of Cultural Interest that crosses Burgos, Palencia and Valladolid? Well, do not miss anything we tell you below!

Well of Cultural Interest

There are many people who do not even know of its existence, but the truth is that the Canal de Castilla is possibly the most relevant hydraulic engineering work of the 18th century. It was created to solve the problem of isolation that the Leonese and Castilian plateau lived because of the complicated orography and a poorly preserved road network, which meant that the agricultural surpluses of the region could not be transported. Considered a Site of Cultural Interest since 1991, today it continues to be useful, providing water to the cultivated fields.


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Powered by Fernando IV

The construction of the Canal de Castilla was promoted by the king Fernando VI, although it was proposed by the Marqués de la Ensenada. It was born in Alar and ends in Valladolid and Medina de Rioseco, covering a large part of the province of Burgos, Palencia and, of course, Valladolid. Of course, the enlightened had intended to join Segovia with Santander through channels, something that remained in just one dream because of the lack of financial resources and orographic difficulties.

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Divided into three channels

It is divided into three branches (North Branch, Field Branch, South Branch) by which vessels loaded with cereals during the 18th and 19th centuries. Curiously, the boats were dragged by animals that were walking on the two paths located parallel to the channel.

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Much to observe

Beyond its important heritage value, the Canal de Castilla impresses with its natural beauty. And it is that along its route you can see different types of ecosystems it is worth preserving: ponds, wetlands, forests ... In fact, in its different sections you will be able to enjoy a most evocative landscape, in which you will be able to observe from the bellowing of the deer, to the migration of the mushrooms, passing through the beautiful riverside forests that impress enormously by shedding their foliage. As for animals, in addition to birds you can find different species of aquatic mammals, such as the otter or the water rat. Of course, you can also see elements that formed and are part of this impressive infrastructure, such as docks, bridges, mills, locks, flour factories, presses, warehouses or machines. All of these elements help us imagine what life could be like in times when the canal was fully operational.


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Used for leisure activities

In addition to serving to supply water to crop fields, the Canal de Castilla is used today to carry out different activities Leisure activities such as cycling, hiking, horseback riding, sightseeing boat rides, canoeing, archery, or astronomical observations.

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Then we leave you with our Gallery, where you will find more images of the Casilla Canal. Do not miss it!

Aqueduct, Caesarea (March 2021)


  • Castilla y León
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