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Encyclopedia > Aqueduct of Segovia
Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

State Party  Spain
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii, iv
Reference 311
Region Europe and North America
Inscription History
Inscription 1985  (9th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
† Region as classified by UNESCO.

The 'Aqueduct of Segovia (or more precisely, the aqueduct bridge) is one of the most significant and best-preserved monuments left by the Romans on the Iberian Peninsula. It is among the most important symbols of Segovia, as is evidenced by its presence on the city's coat of arms. The factual accuracy of part of this article is disputed. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 1217 KB) Description: Aqueduct City: Segovia Country : Spain Photographer: © Manuel González Olaechea y Franco Shot date : March 21th, 2004 File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed... As of 2006, there are a total of 830 World Heritage Sites located in 138 State Parties. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Spain. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... This is a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe. ... A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a specific site (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that has been nominated and confirmed for inclusion on the list maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 State... For other uses, see Aqueduct (disambiguation). ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe, and includes modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. ... The factual accuracy of part of this article is disputed. ... A modern coat of arms is derived from the medi val practice of painting designs onto the shield and outer clothing of knights to enable them to be identified in battle, and later in tournaments. ...


As it lacks a legible inscription (one was apparently located in aqueduct's attic, or top portion), the date of construction cannot be definitively determined. Researchers have placed it between the second half of the 1st Century AD and the early years of the 2nd Century— during the reign of either Emperor Vespasian or Nerva. The beginnings of Segovia itself are likewise not definitively known. Vacceos are known to have populated the area before the Romans conquered the city. Roman troops sent to control the area, which fell within the jurisdiction of the Roman provincial court (Latin conventus iuridici, Spanish convento jurídico) located in Clunia, stayed behind to settle there. Imperator Caesar Vespasianus Augustus (born November 17, 9, died June 23, 79), known originally as Titus Flavius Vespasianus and usually referred to in English as Vespasian, was emperor of Rome from 69 to 79. ... For other uses, see Nerva (disambiguation). ... The Vacceos were an ancient tribe who settled in the Meseta of northern Spain. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Scale model showing the aqueduct route

The aqueduct transports waters from Spring Fuenfría, situated in the nearby mountains some 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) from the city in a region known as La Acebeda. It runs another 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) before arriving in the city. The water is first gathered in a tank known as El Caserón (or Big House), and is then led through a channel to a second tower known as the Casa de Aguas (or Waterhouse). There it is naturally decanted and sand settles out before the water continues its route. Next the water travels 728 meters (.45 miles) on a one-percent grade until it is high upon the Postigo, a rocky outcropping on which the old city center, the Segovia Alcázar, was built. Then, at Plaza de Díaz Sanz (Díaz Sanz Square), the structure makes an abrupt turn and heads toward Plaza Azoguejo (Azoguejo Square). It is there the monument begins to display its full splendor. At its tallest, the aqueduct reaches a height of 28.5 meters (93.5 feet), including nearly 6 meters (19.7 feet) of foundation. There are both single and double arches supported by pillars. From the point the aqueduct enters the city until it reaches Plaza de Díaz Sanz, it boasts 75 single arches and 44 double arches (or 88 arches when counted individually), followed by four single arches, totalling 167 arches in all. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1794x567, 152 KB) Fotografía de una maqueta del recorrido del acueducto de Segovia, España. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1794x567, 152 KB) Fotografía de una maqueta del recorrido del acueducto de Segovia, España. ... This article is about Spanish Alcazars. ... For other uses, see Arch (disambiguation). ...


The first section of the aqueduct contains 36 pointed arches, rebuilt in the 15th Century to restore a portion destroyed by Moors in 1072. The line of arches is organized in two levels, decorated simply, in which predominantly simple moulds hold the frame and provide support to the structure. On the upper level, the arches have a total width of 5.1 meters (16.1 feet). Built in two levels, the top pillars are both shorter and narrower than those on the lower level. The top of the structure contains the channel through which water travels, through a U-shaped hollow measuring 1.8 by 1.5 meters (5.9 by 4.9 feet). The channel continuously adjusts to the base height and the topography below. The lower-level arches have an approximate width of 4.5 meters (14.8 feet); Their pillars gradually increase in circumference size. The top of each pillar has a cross-section measuring 1.8 by 2.5 meters (5.9 by 8.2 feet), while the base cross-section measures approximately 2.4 by 3 meters (7.9 by 9.8 feet). Events William I of England invades Scotland, and also receives the submission of Hereward the Wake. ...


The aqueduct is built of unmortared, brick-like granite blocks. During the Roman era, each of the three tallest arches displayed a sign in bronze letters, indicating the name of its builder along with the date of construction. Today, two niches are still visible, one on each side of the aqueduct. One of them is known to have held the image of the Egyptian Hercules, who according to legend was founder of the city. The other niche now contains the images of the Virgen de la Fuencisla (the Patroness of Segovia) and Saint Stephen. Assorted ancient Bronze castings found as part of a cache, probably intended for recycling. ... For other uses, see Hercules (disambiguation). ... “St. ...


The first reconstruction of the aqueduct took place during the reign of the King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle, known as the Reyes Católicos or Catholic Monarchs. Don Pedro Mesa led the project, the prior of the nearby Jerónimos del Parral monastery. A total of 36 arches were rebuilt, with great care taken not to change any of the original work or style. Later, in the 16th Century, the central niches and above-mentioned statues were placed on the structure. On Saint Barbara's Day (4 December), who is the patron saint of artillery, the cadets of the local military academy drape the image of the Virgin in a flag. Ferdinand on the left with Isabella on the right Coffins of the Catholic Monarchs at the Granada Cathedral The Catholic Monarchs (Spanish: los Reyes Católicos) is the collective title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... St. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ...


The aqueduct is the city's most important architectural landmark. It had been kept functioning throughout the centuries and preserved in excellent condition. It provided water to Segovia, mainly to the Segovia Alcázar, until recently. During the 20th Century, the aqueduct suffered wear and tear due to pollution from heaters and automobiles. The latter used to pass below the arches. Natural erosion from the granite itself has also affected the structure through the years. Contrary to popular belief, vibrations caused by traffic do not affect the aqueduct due to its great mass. Restoration projects, supervised by architect Francisco Jurado, have been ongoing since 1997 in order to guarantee the aqueduct's survival. During the restoration, traffic has been re-routed, and Plaza Azoguejo has been converted into a pedestrian zone. An alcázar is a Spanish castle, from the Arabic word القصر al qasr meaning palace or fortress, from the Latin castellum fortress (ultimately from castrum watchpost). Many cities in Spain have an alcázar. ...

View of the aqueduct from below
Detail of one of the restored portions of the aqueduct
Aqueduct of Segovia

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (850x638, 105 KB) Acueducto de Segovia. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (850x638, 105 KB) Acueducto de Segovia. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1200x1600, 1241 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Aqueduct of Segovia Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1200x1600, 1241 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Aqueduct of Segovia Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 1512 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Spain Aqueduct of Segovia Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 1512 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Spain Aqueduct of Segovia Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera...

The Legend

According to a popular legend, sloth, rather than Romans, was responsible for the construction of the aqueduct. A woman who worked as a water carrier, fed up with hauling her pitcher through the steep streets of the city, made a pact with the devil: the devil could take her soul if water would arrive at her doorstep before the rooster crowed. When night fell, a great storm fell upon the city. None of its citizens except the woman knew that this was no normal storm, but instead was the devil working to keep his part of the bargain. However, she repented and prayed all night to avoid fulfilling the pact. According to the legend, the rooster crowed just before the devil could lay the final stone, and thus the woman's soul was saved.


The woman confessed her sin to the citizens who, after spraying the arches with holy water, were happy to accept the new addition to the city. Convinced that a miracle had saved the woman's soul, a statue of the Virgin and Saint Stephen were placed atop the aqueduct in commemoration.

19th Century view

Download high resolution version (1201x545, 97 KB)Roman aqueduct at Segovia, Spain. ... Download high resolution version (1201x545, 97 KB)Roman aqueduct at Segovia, Spain. ...

External links

  • Club de Amigos del Acueducto ("'Friends of the Aqueduct' Club"). Extensive collection of photos of the Aqueduct, photos of models of the Aqueduct in settings around the world, etc.
  • Aqueduct of Segovia - Information and photos.



References


  Results from FactBites:
 
The International Canal Monuments List - Part IIa - Individual Structures (11563 words)
Across low-lying land, particularly outside towns, an aqueduct had to be raised high enough to give a sufficient "head" to the supply, and the use of arches both removed a potential barrier to communication and lessened the amount of stone required for construction.
A navigable canal aqueduct was built on the Martesana Canal from the river Adda to Milan between 1462 and 1470.
On the Ellesmere Canal, near Pontcysyllte, the earlier Chirk Aqueduct had a cast-iron base to the water-channel, and Telford went on to advise a further group of three very large aqueducts with cast-iron channels on the Glasgow and Edinburgh Union Canal in Scotland (see the section on "Technologically significant canals").
Power and Purpose: The Glory of Rome (2102 words)
Many of the buildings in Rome itself date from the height of the Empire, and while most have been abandoned, some Roman structures, such as the famous water aqueduct in Segovia, Spain, are still working today, nineteen centuries after they were built.
It was used for staged battles, sometimes between lions and Christians and other heretics, among other spectacles, and is one of the most famous pieces of architecture in the world.
he Roman built aqueduct at Segovia in Spain, still supplies that town's water, nearly 1,800 years after it was built.
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