The term Wasserkunst refers to the pump station, or the water tower supplying one of the waterworks in Gdansk. The whole structure, except the waterwheel, was located in a low tower. The Wasserkunst was situated at the western side of the Main Town of Gdansk, opposite the High Gate, on the left bank of the Radunia Canal. The structure can be studied on the basis of written sources, iconographic and cartographic materials and, indirectly, archaeological data. The oldest mentions indicate that the first water tower in Gdansk was built in the years 1536-1537. The most valuable account of the mechanism of the water tower is a drawing in the copies of the plan of the Main Town's waterworks made by Michael Wittwerck. The original has not survived or is not in Gdansk now. There are, however, three copies: by C. Ackermann from 1717, by J. Charpentier from 1719 and by T. Lindenau from 1825. All the copies show two sections: vertical and horizontal. The drawings show the construction and the mechanism of the pump in detail. The whole tower was taken up by the mechanism of the pump and the water reservoir, whose bottom was located just over the surface of water drawn from the Radunia Canal. At the bottom of the reservoir there were two cylindrical pumps, working alternately. The mechanism applied in the Gdansk Wasserkunst was a piston pump, which relies on the reciprocating movement of the piston inside a cylinder, resulting in a pressure difference between the sucking and the pumping side.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.