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Cisternone di Grosseto [Large Cistern in Piazza Dante]

The Lorraine Grand Dukes paid particular attention to realising works of hydraulic engineering, which were indispensable to solve the serious problem of water supply in several areas of Tuscany.

As had already occurred for Livorno, a "Cisternone" was also realised in Grosseto. Emanuele Repetti gives an effective description: «It is indeed necessary to add that in order to supply the capital city of Maremma with fresh and healthy waters, in 1830 the August Sovereign [Leopold II] had one of those large machines used to drill the so-called artesian wells transported to the largest square of Grosseto (Piazza del Duomo). The work produced such an effect that following constant labour lasting several months, and drilling to a depth of about 210 arms, from beneath that immense antediluvian and post-diluvian deposit, there gushed forth copious drinking water, fresh and perpetual, which rose up to eight arms beneath the present level of Grosseto. Two shafts surrounded by a charming little Gothic temple, worked with iron wrought in the furnaces of Follonica [grand-ducal foundry], indicate to the present and future generations one of the many and superlative benefits of Leopold II in favour of the population of Grosseto».

In 1846, in order to make room for the monument dedicated to Grand Duke Leopold II of Lorraine, the parts of the little temple were disassembled and reassembled at Arcidosso.


Texts by Antonella Gozzoli

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 17/ott/2008