Noria al-Muhammadiyya

1361

Among the largest and oldest existing waterwheels ever constructed

Noria al-Muhammadiyya
Original photo by Juan Angel

The Noria al-Muhammadiyya is the most famous of many norias in Hama. This giant operating noria is unique in both size and age.  Built in 763 AH, or 1361 CE, and still in use today, it is a stand-alone water pump. The river that provides the water it raises also serves as its sole source of energy.

The diameter of its wheel is 21 meters (69 feet). Fourteen of the arches of its aqueduct still exist. Compared to the typical known size of waterwheels of 2 to 3 meters (7 to 9 feet), the Noria al-Muhammadiyya is among the largest water wheels ever constructed. It was restored in 1977 and is currently in service.

All norias are water wheels, but not all water wheels are norias. A water wheel typically drives something else e.g. a grindstone, machinery etc. A noria raises water from a stream or river and discharges it at a higher elevation.

 
 

For More Information:

Downstream from Hama, Syria
Bab al-Nahr (the gate of the river)

Visiting Info:

Publicly viewable

Ceremony Notes:

December 22, 2006. The ceremony was attended by the Honorable Mayor of the city of Hama, Syria, Mohamad Ameen Kendacji, the US Embassy in Damascus' Cultural Affairs Council attaché Adrienne B. Nutzman, and the landmark nominator, Dr. Mahmod Samman, P.E. The ASME President speech was delivered by local ASME member and the ceremony organizer, Samer Maatouk.