The aqueduct of segovia is a traditional instance of roman water delivery architecture—simple in layout, yet impressive to behold, and notably long lasting. The aqueduct was built within the 1st century ad to convey water from frío river, 17 km away, to the town, and it’s been carrying out this characteristic in one shape or every other for the beyond 2,000 years. This is all the greater astonishing whilst you understand that this aqueduct turned into built without a single ounce of mortar.
Segovia, located approximately 100 km northwest of madrid, was at the beginning a celtic settlement, earlier than the town fell to the romans in around 80 bc. Below the romans, segovia rose to turn out to be an crucial city of roman hispania.
The bold creation crafted from stacked granite blocks with out mortar and with out bracing become constructed inside the later a part of the first century, or the early 2nd century; it’s difficult to inform for the reason that inscription at the stones of the aqueduct, which might have firmly installed the date of construction, had eroded away. Archeological evidence shows that the later date is more likely, which places the time of production around the time of emperor trajan or emperor hadrian.
Water changed into delivered from the mountains taking gain of the herbal elevation thru a subterranean channel to a big storage tank known as el caserón (or huge house), from which it became caused a second tower known as the casa de aguas (or waterhouse). There it became naturally decanted and sand settled out earlier than the water persevered its path, traveling 728 meters over the extended aqueduct bridge until it reached plaza de díaz sanz.
Crossing the extensive plaza, the aqueduct bridge seems dramatic with its tall double arches supported by using pillars performing a impressive balancing act. The choice to construct the bridge without mortar turned into likely imposed by using the lack of limestone to make cement in this a part of the location. Ironically, the shortage of cement may have contributed to the shape’s toughness because it allowed the bridge to flex allowing it to survive small earthquakes.
The bridge is constructed from approximately 20,400 blocks of granite. The most important block inside the bridge has a weight of 2 tons, and blocks of one ton are common. These had been hoisted to almost 30 meters with the help of wood cranes, as evidenced from holes within the granite. The rounded edges of the granite blocks of the aqueduct is partially original, however additionally more suitable by way of weathering of the distinctly soft granite inside the course of time.
All through the roman generation, 3 of the tallest arches displayed a sign every in bronze letters, indicating the name of its builder together with the date of creation. These days, niches are still seen, one on every side of the aqueduct. Considered one of them is understood to have held the photograph of hercules, who, according to legend, was founder of the town. The niche now contains an photograph of the virgin. The alternative picture was misplaced.
To say the aqueduct survived for 2 thousand years might now not be absolutely correct. In the eleventh century, invasion by way of yahya ibn ismail al-mamun destroyed approximately 36 arches of the aqueduct. A number of the dislodged stones have been then used to rebuild the fort of king alfonso vi. Inside the fifteenth century, the broken sections had been rebuilt taking extremely good care no longer to change any of the authentic paintings or fashion. Inside the early 19th century, all buildings adjacent to the aqueduct have been demolished to make upkeep less complicated and growth structural integrity.
Although the aqueduct of segovia is considered one of the excellent preserved accelerated roman aqueducts, the shape has no longer fared properly these days. Erosion and decay caused water leakage from the upper viaduct, and pollution from motors brought about the granite blocks to go to pot and crack. When you consider that 2006, the aqueduct is below the sector monuments watch via the arena monuments fund (wmf).