Yesterday, we stumbled across the beautiful Pulgas Water Temple in San Mateo County, California. We were driving to Filoli Gardens and suddenly this serene blue pool of water and incredible stone structure reminiscent of ancient Greece jumped out at me from the road and I just had to stop.
We pulled in and got out of the car to explore this mysterious and beautiful place.
I learned that it is, in fact, a water temple!
It's located at the terminus of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct and was constructed to commemorate its completion. The Hetch Hetchy Project took 24 years to build through the Great Depression at a cost of $102 million and carries water160 miles across California from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Bay Area.
Designed by architect William Merchant, it was finished in 1938. It stands overlooking a calm reflecting pool lined with cypress trees on a lush green lawn and is so, so beautiful. What a place to find by accident!
The majestic fluted columns reflect the architecture of ancient Greeks and Romans, whose engineering methods were used to build the new water system. The inscription on the top, carved by Albert Bernasconi reads:
"I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people"
[from Isaiah 43:20].
Enormous in size and situated at the foot of a long blue pool of water, it's an incredible place to sit and ponder life for a while.
If you're looking for fun things to do in the Bay Area you can visit the Pulgas Water Temple yourself, as it is open to the public from 9 am until 3 30 pm each day, with parking available Monday - Friday only. And if you want some other things to do in San Francisco, try this post here with some outdoor activities and my guide to the best tacos in the city here.
Find the Pulgas Water Temple at 56 Cañada Rd, Redwood City, CA 94062
For further information, visit sfpuc.org/learning/come-visit/pulgas-water-temple
Bye for now! Come and find me on Instagram if you've found this water temple too, or just to say hi!