Pla de Sant Jordi Mallorca

the Bouvij (Bouvy) drainage channels, Pla de Sant Jordi Mallorca

Paul Bouvij was born in Amsterdam, Holland in 1807 and served as a second lieutenant in the Dutch forces during the 1830 campaign leading to Belgian independence. Besieged in the town of Amberes for six months, he reached the conclusion that he shared the ideas of the opposing army. Deciding to change sides he did so in daylight, under a hail of shots so that he could never be accused of cowardice.

Unable to continue to enjoy a command in the Belgium army and, unable to return to the country of his birth, he entered the Liege School of Mining, qualifying as an engineer.

He settled in Mallorca in 1853 where he ran a lignite mine and wrote several articles on the 1851 earthquake that had caused a great deal of damage on the Island. He also published several papers on geology and is the author of the Reseña geognóstica de la isla de Mallorca (Geognostic Report of the Island of Majorca) (1852) and the Ensayo de una descripción geológica de la isla de Mallorca (Attempt at a Geological Description of the Island of Majorca) (1867).

In 1856 he published a feasibility study for a narrow gauge railway to connect the main towns and industries of the Island, Camino de hierro de tercera clase entre Palma, Inca, Manacor y Felanitx, by laying 105 km of track but the economic climate was such that his proposal did not prosper.

Commissioned by the Palma City Council he drew up the first report on channelling drinking water to the city and oversaw the work on the Túnel d’en Bouvy, an underground aqueduct to improve the passage of water from the Font de la Vila to the town. The system was declared a Cultural Interest Asset in 2007.

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