The Maison du Fontainier (‘House of the Fountain Engineer’) also known as Regard number 27 is the point at which the Medici Acqueduct terminates. The acqueduct flows a distance of around 13 kilometres from the town of Rungis into the south of Paris. It roughly follows the route of an earlier Roman acqueduct and the underground passage measures around 2 metres wide by 2.5 metres high.
The house was constructed in 1619 and provided accommodation for the King’s Fountain Keeper on the first floor. In the basement, the water flowing from the acqueduct was separated into three reservoirs. These were for Religious Institutions, the Royal Family and for public fountains. Some reports say the contractor (Jean Gobelin) was also granted part of the supply for himself.
The water supply became redundant in the second half of the nineteenth century, when new supplies were commissioned for the left bank. Unusually (to British eyes) some of this later supply is carried in water mains running through sewer tunnels.
The site is usually opened by the Paris Historique Association during September Heritage Weekends. Sub Brit was fortunate to arrange an in-depth private tour during a visit to the city in June 2008.