Aqueduct of Segovia.
Alzado de pilares  y secciones del Acueducto de Segovia
Elevation of pillars and sections of
Aqueduct of Segovia

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It is probably the best and more complete aqueduct remaining from those built at Roman Empire age, not only because of its good state of preservation, but only for its design, dimensions and concept.
It has suffered several partial restores, rebuildings and, even, partial elimination of ashlars, specially cornices.
Greatness, harmony and integration given by this work to the city did provoke that restoring works did keep original design. The most outstanding between them was made by Catholic Kings. Aqueduct is doubtless the most artistic and monumental ingeneering work from Roman History.
Datation could be difficult since there are neither clear documents nor inscriptions to establish origin of building. It has been thought to be built by Traian, Claudius, Nerva or a Domitianus. Anyway can be assured that it was built at the end of 1st century or beginning of 2nd one..
Acueducto de Segovia
Aqueduct of Segovia

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This aqueduct takes water from Frio river at 18 km. from the city, the Roman Secovia. It is driven through a canal 0,30 m. wide and 0,30 m. deep. It goes on an open course until pine-wood of Balsaín. There, it becomes underground up to a first sand filter -turris aquae-. Then, current runs on a wall -a part of the conduction today lost- that ends at a second filter deposit. This one is protected by a rectangular box. Its plan is 7,70 m. x 4,80 m. with a barrel vault slightly pointed. Inner pool has a plan of 4,30 m. x 2,20 m. and 2,60 deep. It was composed by six files of ashlars.
From this second deposit cames out an elevated conduction known at the whole world. It is composed by 166 semicircular archs -68 single and 44 doubles superimposed-. The whole is 638 m. long.
The course for this section is not stright. Many parts change their direction:
Planta y alzados del Acueducto
Plan and elevations for Aqueduct

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  • First one is 65 m. long, composed by 6 archs up to 7 m. high.
  • Second one is 159 m. long with 25 archs up to 8m.
  • Third one is 281 m. long with 44 archs and 12 m. high.
  • Lastly, the best kmowm part is composed by 43 double archs -86- and two singles: the first and the last one. Gates for superior are slightly wider: ca. 5,1 m. These archs end at the wall. From wall to general bank -castellum aquae- there were 9 single archs: only four do remain. It is 29 m. high at its higher zone. Just at this place there is a room for an inscription 16 m. long and 2m. high. At its western side can be read:
    At this part of the aqueduct can be seen a "stepped" for pillars constructive system. At its base, plan measures 3 m. x 2,5 m., becoming 2,5 m. x 1,8 at its final area. Steps are 3,6 m. high, except the last one being 5,1 m. At each one pillar diminishes at 0,3 m. and ends with a cornice.
Course for this section is not stright. Many parts change their direction:
Acueducto de Segovia
Aqueduct of Segovia

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Acueducto de Segovia
Detail of the pillars cornices

Rectangular plan pillars have not always the same measures: they change from 2 to 3 m. x 3 to 4 m. Also gates of archs change from 4 to 6 m.
The whole is made with granite ashlars -berroquean stone- roughly carved and placed in a dry way, i.e. without mortar. They are ca. 25.000. The top is made of masonry -opus incertum-. Inside it runs a canal, covered by Roman concrete and waterproof with opus signinum.
Today important works for restoring and presevation of this monument, property of humanity, have been done.
Acueducto de Segovia Acueducto de Segovia Acueducto de Segovia
Three details of the Aqueduct. (Press images to enlarge)