The wheel on the well goes round and round

Landscape architect Isabel Blaser will be giving a talk on the ‘noras’ (old wells) of the Algarve and the water features of the Gardens of Andalusia on Tuesday, March 18 in the Municipal Library of Lagoa at 6pm.
Isabel has worked as a landscape architect in the Algarve since 1998 and writes articles about Iberian garden features. Garden projects can be seen on her website www.garden-design.com.pt
This presentation intends to show that the Arabs who came to the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century inherited hydraulic technologies from their forebears in the deserts of the Middle East.
They brought them to Iberia and introduced here new techniques for raising, storing and channelling water. In the hot and dry climate of the Iberian Peninsula, they introduced innovative agriculture techniques by means of intensive irrigation for new crops.
Even nowadays we still see in the Algarve many old wells with impressive gear wheels standing near rivers and streams in close proximity to orange groves.
These devices are called ‘noras’ and this name comes from the Arabic word Noura, which means the gear wheel for raising water.
In this presentation, Isabel will show the link between water features in Islamic gardens and water devices used in agriculture.
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Photo: Nora (old well) in São Brás de Alportel