Brick Water Tanks on Yellow Hill

The colossal underground reservoirs, featuring a system of rolled and cross vaults supported by brick pillars and walls, were a unique and unprecedented architecture in the Czech lands.

In the second half of the 19th century, the water supply from Svratka was no longer sufficient for the city of Brno. Efforts to obtain cheap water for Brno had proven futile, and so in 1863 a competition was announced for the construction of a new water supply. In 1869 the most advantageous of four offers was adopted, the project of the London builder Thomas Docwry. The construction of the Pisárky water treatment plant started in the autumn of the same year and, in accordance with the best English experience with water treatment, the construction was completed in 1872. Untreated water from the Svratka River was taken over the weir in Kamenný mlýn and was cleaned on three open biological filters with a total area of almost 3000 square metres. The water from Pisárky was pumped into two pressure zones. The first one, the lower one, had reservoirs on Žlutý kopec (Yellow Hill); the higher zone used the reservoir on Špilberk.

Two new water reservoirs were built on Žlutý kopec in Tvrdého Street between 1869 and 1872 for the new water source. Colossal underground reservoirs with a system of rolled and cross vaults supported by brick pillars and walls is architecturally unique, unparalleled in the Czech lands. The construction skills of the builders, the technical sophistication of the solution and the incredible spirit of these places make these buildings among the most interesting works of the 19th century in Brno. At the same time, the waterworks on Žlutý kopec are an impressive historical tribute to a time of generous urban development and a valuable monument of the technical solution for supplying water to the city’s expanding population expanding.

The activity of these reservoirs was terminated in 1997, when they were disconnected from the water supply network. They have not been used since. Currently, the city is trying to modify these amazing buildings to them open to the public.

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