Imatge del Moianès

Branch in towns

3 Radial de CastellterçolRadial de Castellterçol

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One of the most original transformations of water in the pre-industrial period was turning it into ice. The Moianès region has historically been the most important region in the Mediterranean devoted to this activity, both for its volume and social impact. Castellterçol, in particular, was the town responsible for the sale and production of ice. And it is here where we still can see the greatest number of ice wells, pools, loaders, etc.
The ice production acquired a great importance in the Moianès region, due to its climate and its proximity to Barcelona. During the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, many ice wells were built. These wells, called “pou” or “poua de glaç” in Catalan, are generally cylindrical cavities topped by oval domes, made of stones or bricks. They were built beside the rivers and, during the cold season (from the end of December to mid February), they were filled with ice, alternating layers of ice and some insulating material such as hay, which also helped to keep the layers separated. The main customers were fishmonger’s shops, hospitals, chemist’s shops and ice cream manufacturers. The ice industry created around the well employed a large number of workers in the winter season, when agricultural work and ice well employment added up. In the region of Moianès there are about fifty ice wells and, despite not being currently in use, their restoration is of great archaeological interest. In this centre, we can visit the Poues de la Ginebreda, go into ice well number 3, recently restored and part of the Ecomuseum. We can also learn what it looked like, how people worked, sold the ice… or visit the chapel of Sant Gaietà, dedicated to the only Guild of ice well workers that has ever existed in Catalonia.

In this branch of Ecomuseum, located on the road from Moià to Castellterçol, you can visit ice well number 3.