Qanat Gesuitico Alto


Useful Information

Location: Fondo Micciulla, 25, 90135 Palermo
(38.105636, 13.323079)
Open: All year Mon-Fri 19, after appointment for groups.
[2021]
Fee: Adults EUR 10, Children EUR 8.
[2021]
Classification: SubterraneaQanat
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=1,100 m, H=1.55 m, W=60-80 cm.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Pietro Todaro (2015): From the Middle Ages to 19th century: a journey into the water systems of Palermo (Italy). International Journal of Global Environmental Issues. Vol.14. researchgate
Address: Qanat Gesuitico Alto, Fondo Micciulla, 25, 90135 Palermo PA,
Club Alpino italiano - Sezione della Conca d'Oro di Palermo, Via Nicolò Garzilli, 59 90141 - Palermo, Tel: +39-091-329-407, Cell: +39-349-847-8288.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

12th to 13th cty qanat constructed.
1636
1722 first written mention of the quanat.

Description

The Qanat Gesuitico Alto (High Jesuitic Qanat) is located underneath the Altarello district, mainly below Casa Micciulla. The tunnel is 1100 m long, 1.55 m high and between 60 cm and 80 cm wide. Every 20 m to 50 m a well opens from the surface to the tunnel, to allow the use of the water. The tunnel is still working, the floor covered by slowly flowing freshwater. A number of springs along the walls of the tunnels feed it. While the qanat is from the Arabs, it was later used and partly expanded by the Jesuits, who were the owners of the vast overlying plots of land, hence the name. The most ancient tunnels lay 8 m below the ground, the youngest 16 m below ground. The upper lever is dug out of limestone, while the lower are located in Flysch quartzite.

The guided tours are offered by the speleological section of the Club Alpino Italiano. They are only for groups of minimum 15 persons after appointment. Helmets with headlamps and wellingrons are provided. A change of clothes and a towel are recommended.