Monday, June 4, 2012

Roman Aqueduct of Segovia

Visiting the Roman aqueduct of Segovia was truly a Civil Engineering Marvel. Built in the first century by the orders of Roman Emperor Vespasian, this aqueduct served the town of Segovia for nearly 2 millenniums. The aqueduct transports water from the Fuente Fria River in the nearby sierra some 20 miles away, naturally separating the sand from the water near the beginning of the aqueduct. For about 800 yards the aqueduct travels with a one percent grade. It is nearly 100 feet at its tallest point with 20 feet of foundation. There are 88 arches from the point it crosses ancient city walls to its final destination, the Alcazar. It contains two sets of arches; the bottom sets of arches have a width of about 15 ft. and the top set has a width of 16 feet. The bottom columns are wider and longer in size and the upper columns are shorter and smaller in width. The water travels on a U shape hollow with dimensions of 1x8 and 1x5 on top the aqueduct. It was partially destroyed by the moors in 1072 and repaired by the catholic monarch in the 15th century. The most astonishing part about this aqueduct is that it contains not a single drop of mortar, the entire structure is being held together by gravity. This is a very impressive structure considering the time it has survived and its simple yet effective design.

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