Viewpoint Lanaja ice well

The well, of cylindrical form and constructed in ashlarejo of limestone well, is of great dimensions, with more than 6 meters of diameter and 20 of height approximately, being able to lodge therefore an important volume of icy material. It is covered with a false dome in whose superior part an oculus was opened, where the snow was thrown, today blinded with cement.

The well is located in the SASO, a mound that dominates the entire town and was formerly used to preserve the ice that was collected in the winter season and then used the rest of the year.

The viewpoint is located in one of the several enclaves related to water in the town (pozo de hielo, el caño, azud de Bastarás). It is located on the enclave itself and its vent, and next to the road. The views, besides having the village at our feet, are on the saso of the town, and at the bottom, the mountain range.  

Dome of the well seen from inside

Circular space in the vault

Detail of the alignment of the stones

The well of Lanaja is a clear example of the traditional architecture of the region and is an example of heritage recovery. A few years ago the town council began restoration work.


The well is located on a circular underground base with masonry walls made of local stone and inserted in a linear manner with mortar. At the top, the stones fit together and protrude towards the central part to form a magnificent circular vault. In the centre of the vault, there is a rounded window or opening with a diameter of 1.62 m, which was used for ventilation and lighting and to facilitate the work of filling and extracting the well.


At the base of the shaft there is a small tunnel dug into the rock that served as a drainage system, as this was where the melt water was evacuated and prevented it from coming into contact with the ice, which would reduce its conservation time.

Circular base of the well

To access the interior, there is a 6-meter long corridor facing south that leads to a door located at mid-well height. With the reform, a spiral staircase has been installed to reach the bottom of the well.




Access staircase and drainage tunnel on the left 

Ice store

At about the beginning of November, when the first frosts came, the well was being prepared.  Rafts were built in the vicinity and then with the frost the water turned into ice was transferred to the well. In the base of the well they were located stone supports and on the same one a wood plank and branches constituting a platform where the ice and the snow was supported. Once the ice was introduced, it was stepped on to compact it.


The layers of compacted ice had a thickness of approximately 50 cm and it was covered with a new layer of branches and grass, this way several layers of ice were piled up until the well was filled up and it was already at that moment when the vain was covered and the access doors were closed.


The sale of the ice to the inhabitants was carried out in the well itself, once the spring arrived it was when the extraction process began. The ice was cut into blocks and introduced into special wooden containers that gave it the shape of bread.

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