La Chiusa (The Sluice) of Casalecchio di Reno is the Europe's oldest work of hydraulic engineering which is still in function in a steady way.
Thanks to a complex network of canals, it has been “managing” the water in the Reno river for eight hundred years in order to supply the city of Bologna and the Bolognese plain with power as well as contributing to the well-being and safety of the inhabitants of Casalecchio.
As a symbol of social unity, the sluice joined the list 2000-2010 of the Unesco World Heritage Sites Messengers of the Culture of Peace for the Children on the 28 th December 2010 for the following reason: “Water is a source of life, the preservation as well as sharing of water are sources of life too”.
The sluice was built by the Bologna City Council in 1208 in order to supply mills and factories of the medieval city in full expansion with power as well as creating navigable routes to take Bolognese products to international markets. Having restructured the Reno Canal that linked the sluice to the city, Bologna was thus able to fill a complex network of canals, drains and conduits, turning it into a city of water and a great European centre for the production of silk voile.
Rebuilt many times, the sluice was unable to resist floods. So in 1567, Pope Pious V ordered it to be reconstructed, imposing the maintenance on those who benefited from the water. Thus was created the great sluice based on a design by the Vignola (Jacopo Barozzi), which is still today a marvellous testament to the period's hydraulic engineering.
Guided tours to the plants managed by the Consortium of the Canals of the Reno and Savena take place on the 29th August every year, giving people information about their history, characteristics and operative functions.
29th August 1969 is the day when private citizens entered the organ of government of the waters of the city for the first time.
Visits and other events are held throughout the year by the Consorzio.
Telephone: +39 051 6493527
- Art & Culture
Reservations required: ph. 0039 051 6493527
Ph. 0039 051 6493527
The Consorzio della Chiusa di Casalecchio e del Canale di Reno (Consortium of the Chiusa - Sluice of Casalecchio and the Reno Canal) is responsible for the management of the sluice.