Municipal waterworks complex, Opole
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The historical waterworks complex constitutes an example of spatial and architectural solutions used in municipal industrial and technological facilities at the turn of the 19th and the 20th century. The entire complex is highly valuable in historical and architectural terms. It has been preserved in an unchanged shape.


The construction of advanced waterworks was commenced in 1892. The complex of buildings came into being over a period of four years. Its construction was supervised by engineer W. Pfeffer from Halle. Its estimated capacity amounted to 4000 m3 of water per day. The operation of the new water supply system of Opole was started on 1 July 1897. At that time, it was 21 km long. Initially, water was drawn from wells located in the vicinity of the plant. Only in 1936, the intakes in the village of Zawada was started to be used. The waterworks system underwent numerous modernisations and extensions. In the 1950s, the sand filter was decommissioned, and in 1970s., a new pumping station was built and the tower tank was decommissioned.


The waterworks plant is located in the north-eastern part of the city. It occupies a plot of land delimited by Oleska, Ogrodowa, and Wodociągowa Streets. From the east, it borders a new residential estate. The oldest facilities of the historic complex (e.g. pumping station, water tower and boiler building, and administration building) originate from the 1890s and have been preserved in a virtually unchanged condition. All buildings are made of brick. They are not plastered, and their façades are decorated with ceramic architectural detail.

The water tower located in the north-western part of the complex forms its dominating feature. It was built on a circular floor plan, with a high shaft and a cylindrical water tank resting on brick corbels forming its top section. The tank is covered with a conical roof and topped with four brick gables. Façades of the tower are articulated with small window openings and cornices in the form of rings. In the ground floor section, there is a false portal with a stepped pediment in the form of crenellation, in which there is a cartouche with date 1896.

To the east of the tower, there is a water reservoir sunk in the ground and a slow filter which contained a sand filtering deposit. It is a building erected on a rectangular floor plan, covered with earth. Only its western façade, with the entrance, is visible.

To the south-east from the water tower, there is a single-storey pumping station, built on a rectangular floor plan. Its brick façades are articulated with segmental arch arcades resting on pilasters, with a keystone in the top section. The walls are topped with a crowning cornice (analogical to that on the tower). From the east, the structure is adjoined by a single-storey boiler building with a high brick chimney. The boiler building is erected on a rectangular floor plan.

In the southern part of the complex, there are the following buildings: the administrative building (single-storey, on a floor plan of an elongated rectangle, re-designed on numerous occasions) and the well building (erected on a rectangular floor plan, with a single-space interior and façades decorated in the top section with a brick frieze).

The facilities can be viewed from the outside. Viewing of the water tower is only possible by prior telephone arrangement.

compiled by Aleksandra Ziółkowska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 11-12-2015.


  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytków architektury i budownictwa - Miejski zakład wodociągowy w Opolu, oprac. A. Broniewska, 1997, Arch. WUOZ w Opolu.
  • Studium historyczno-urbanistyczne miasta Opola, oprac. J. Ilkosz, W. Wilczyńska-Koper, M. Wojtowicz, I. Rybka-Ceglecka, A. Wodzińska, B. Matejuk, PKZ Wrocław 1990, t. II, mps.
  • Piecuch K., Szare złoto [w:] Renowacje i zabytki, nr 3 (2010), s. 105-115.

General information

  • Type: industrial architecture
  • Chronology: 1892 – 1896
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Oleska 64, Opole
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district Opole, commune Opole
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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