2. The Limit of the lake
One of the most unique features of the Rec Major is the curious rectangular structure known as the “Limit”. Although it is not known exactly when it was built, it appears written in an 1832 document as “a limiting structure to contain the waters in times of downpours”. As well as preventing floods, its other function is to regulate the flow of the channel. It is also a good indicator of the level of the Lake, which varies throughout the year.
The operation of the Limit is remarkably simple, but nevertheless ingenious. Being constructed just above the channel, it acts as a barrier for the water and forces it to travel underneath it, as if it were a funnel. Thus it succeeds in fixing a maximum flow rate, which cannot be modified. Historically, the water of the Rec Major has been used to irrigate the many orchards which, even today, still define the characteristic urban landscape of Banyoles.
The washing places
Before water arrived in the houses, rinsing was often done at private or common washing places or pools located near a water course. There are over one hundred documented along the length of the Rec Major, although only about twenty still remain, mainly concentrated between the Limit and the next point on the route, Can Quim del Rec.
Did you know that....
as well as for doing the rinsing, the washing places were also a social meeting point for women? They often used the time there to chat and get up to date on the latest news and gossip. This is the origin of the Catalan expression “fer safareig” (literally “do the rinsing” and figuratively, “gossiping”).