Monday, January 27, 2014

Aqueduct of Segovia


Method of Transportation: Walking
Transportation Time: Approximately 8 Minutes
Cost: $0/€0

The aqueduct of Segovia is one of the town's most famous landmarks. Believed to have been constructed during the first century, the aqueduct is a testament of Roman influence in Spain[1]. The exact date is of construction is estimated to have been 50 A.D., given excavation evidence and the comparison of its construction to other Roman structures, but is not entirely known[2]. It is of note that not only was the aqueduct constructed, but that it is still fully intact today. Other Roman aqueducts were constructed in Spain in the cities of Sevilla, Toledo, and Calahorra, but are no longer standing[3]. The Segovia Aqueduct has 167 arches and stands 813 meters long; at its tallest point it stands 28.5 meters high[4]. It was declared a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site in 1985, along with the old town part of Segovia[5].

Top of Aqueduct[6]

Bringing water into the town for centuries, the construction of the aqueduct still remains a mystery. The aqueduct was constructed without sealant, held together by its counteracting forces[7]. Since there is not a definite known method of construction of the aqueduct, there are many legends surrounding its structure. One popular legend suggests that the aqueduct was created by the devil and that the holes in the stones are the devil's marks, earning it the name "Puente de Diablo," or Devil's Bridge[8].

Devil's Mark Holes

Over the centuries, there has been little change done to the aqueduct. In 1072 during a Muslim attack, thirty-six of the arches were damaged and were later repaired in the 15th century[9]. There has been some intentional changing of the aqueduct, which is reflective of the cultural changes of Segovia. There were two alcoves that were thought to once contain statues of pagan gods, but were replaced with images of San Sebastián and the Virgin Mary by Catholic monarchs[10]. However, there are relatively recent damage to the aqueduct that have occurred during the last century. Vehicles were allowed to pass under the aqueduct until recently, which caused “disintegration of the masonry[11].” In addition, Segovia is an urban town and gas pollutants have caused some decaying of the stones[12].

Walking into Segovia 

The aqueduct is one of the most recognizable landmarks throughout the town. Free to view and easily accessible, it is a helpful direction and meeting point from anywhere in the town. Just to the right on the way into the town (see above photo for reference point) are stairs that lead to a panoramic view of both the town and the majority of the aqueduct. An incredible structure, the aqueduct remains one of the most famous constructions in Segovia.

Works Cited

“Acueducto.” Segovia!. Turismo de Segovia, 2014. (accessed January 27, 2014).
“Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct.” UNSECO, 2014. (accessed January 27, 2014).
“Segovia Aqueduct.” Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2013. (accessed January 27, 2014). 

[1] “Acueducto,” Segovia!. Turismo de Segovia, 2014, (accessed January 27, 2014).
[2] “Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct,” UNSECO, 2014, (accessed January 27, 2014).
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] “Acueducto,” Segovia!. Turismo de Segovia, 2014.
[6] Ibid. Note: It is illegal to climb to climb on the top of the aqueduct, which is why the picture of the top of the aqueduct is from a source.
[7] Ibid.
[8] “Segovia Aqueduct,” Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, 2013, (accessed January 27, 2014).  
[9] “Acueducto,” Segovia!. Turismo de Segovia, 2014.
[10] Ibid.
[11] “Old Town of Segovia and its Aqueduct,” UNSECO, 2014.
[12] Ibid.

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