Art & Culture

Cultural Heritage

Laguardia Celtiberian pond

The La Barbacana Celtiberian pond, located in Laguardia (Álava), was built 2,100 years ago.

It may be considered as the largest pond built during the Iron Age which is still in existence in Europe today. This hydraulic construction was able to store up to 300,000 litres of water. The pond, or deposit, was built in order to gather water from a spring which begins in the upper section of the hill on which the medieval town of Laguardia, in the Rioja Alavesa, now stands. In addition, some of the archaeological findings which have been unearthed at the pond itself indicate that it was also used for ritualistic purposes.

This assertion is corroborated by the discovery of a Roman altar - of clear Celtic origin - dedicated to the Matres, in the vicinity of the pond. The altar depicts springs, or aquifers, both mineral-medicinal and thermal. The pond has maximum dimensions of 18 x 15 metres, with perimeter walls which measure between 0.85 and 3.10 metres in height. The estimated total surface is 218 square metres.

Interpretation centre

The La Barbacana Celtiberian pond is covered and protected by an architecturally-designed roof. The pond's museum installation is also located under this roof, and is supported by sophisticated audiovisual media, 3D reconstructions of people from that time period, pictorial recreations and a range of items related to this subject matter.

All of this helps visitors to discover and understand the importance of this hydraulic structure, and to learn about the inhabitants who availed of the aquifer over the centuries.

Information of interest

Type of resources
Archaelogical remains
Calle Mayor, junto a la Puerta de Mercadal (sur del cerro) - 01300 Laguardia


  • Public toilet
  • Exhibition hall
  • Guided visit