Salzburg Photos: Almkanal (Underground CanaL)

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Almkanal (Underground Canal)

Most international visitors of Salzburg think that this thing, which you can find on the Universitätsplatz, is simply a modern fountain that also serves as a sun dial. In fact, it is one of only a few places where the Almkanal becomes visible from the surface: This undergound canal is one of the oldest canal systems in the World and was used to distribute water between various parts of the city. Whilst this section is Medieval, the oldest parts can be found in Mülln, in the northern-most parts of the Old Town (Altstadt). They certainly date back to the 8th century, but are likely to originate from even older canals that might have been built in the Antique town of Iuvavum. The Almkanal is still used for all sorts of things, including power generation. Modern applications include airconditioning: The cold water helps to cool modern buildings such as the Festival Halls or the Salzburg Museum. The water of the Almkanal comes from a spring in Fürstenbrunn at the base of Mount Untersberg and enters the Salzach at the Altstadt.

photo (c)