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Three Water Tanks

Three experiences

History

The construction of the Žlutý kopec Water Tanks is connected to the rapid development of Brno in the second half of the 19th century. At that time, the city's fortification system was removed, and the city expanded significantly in size and population. Ensuring a reliable source of drinking water was absolutely essential. The new water source became the so-called Pisárecký water main, drawing water from the Svratka River. The water main was built by the English entrepreneur Thonas Docwry, the winner of an international competition, who created a water management complex following the British system. The water was purified in three biological filters and pumped into two pressure zones with their own water tanks. The higher pressure zone was established at Špilberk with two smaller tanks. The lower pressure zone was placed on the eastern slope of Žlutý kopec. Gradually, three voluminous water tanks were built here – two brick and one concrete with two tanks.
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Present

The definitive end of operations came in 1997 when the Žlutý kopec Water Tanks were decommissioned, the water management complex on Tvrdého street was abandoned, and the trio of monumental buildings was gradually forgotten. In 2014, they were even slated for demolition. However, after the publication of their photos, there was an unprecedented interest in the water tanks, and their potential new use was considered. In 2019, the entire complex on Žlutý kopec was declared a cultural monument by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. It was thus saved from destruction, gradually sensitively reconstructed, and made accessible to the public.

The oldest water tank welcomed its first visitors in the summer of 2020. The spaces also garnered significant attention from film companies, which want to utilize the uniqueness and monumentality of the tanks in their projects. At the same time, experts began to examine the second brick water tank. The monumental tank with pillars, high arcades, and fragments of fittings had the air of a bizarre temple. Illuminated in all its beauty, it was opened to the public with the addition of comfortable staircase in 2022. This was followed by the sensitive reconstruction of the concrete tank, which was preserved in very good technical condition. The entire complex, including the revitalized park, opened in spring 2024.

Special thanks goes to Aleš Svoboda for his tireless work leading to the opening and popularization of Brno's underground and for compiling interesting materials not only about the Žlutý kopec Water Tanks.