It is located on a spectacular cliff on the north coast of the island of Tenerife

The Gordejuela Water Elevator, one of the most beautiful ruined buildings in Spain

In many places in Spain there are ruined buildings of great beauty, but not many are located in a place as unique as this one.

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In 1903, the British company Hamilton House acquired the water company of Juan de Gordejuela, owner of a mill located next to a waterfall on a spectacular cliff on the north coast of the island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, specifically in the Los Realejos area. On the site of the old mill, a building with a water elevator was built, in order to take water from some springs to the top of the cliff, about 200 meters above sea level.

The ruins of the Water Elevator, seen from the Gordejuela viewpoint (Photo:

The first steam engine on the island of Tenerife was installed in this building. According to, the water lift installation was designed by the military engineer José Galván Balaguer, born in Seville, with the collaboration of León de Torres and León Huerta. The water pumped from the cliff was used to irrigate a banana plantation in the Orotava valley.

The Water Elevator in a photo taken in 2007, 104 years after its construction (Photo: Carlos SM).

Despite being an advanced facility for its time and much needed for the island, the company went into losses and the facility was leased in 1910 to another British company, Elder & Fyffes, and sold in 1919. Eventually, the building passed into the public domain, but became outdated with the arrival of electricity, so it was finally abandoned.

Water Elevator, seen from the top of the cliff on which it is located (Photo: Noemi M. M.).

In recent years there have been projects to rehabilitate the building, but they have not prospered, and unfortunately it lacks any official protection. The Gordejuela Water Lift is today considered one of the most beautiful ruins in Spain, not only because of the building itself (a vestige of a time in which industrial buildings were not only functional , but also with a very aesthetic architectural style), but also for the spectacular location in which it is located.

A few months ago, Przystanek Rodzinka published a formidable video recorded with a drone showing these beautiful ruins:


Main image: Przystanek Rodzinka.

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