Long before Segovia was home to one of IE University’s cutting-edge campuses, it was a city that received its water from up in the mountains via an aqueduct.
Incredibly preserved, the stunning Roman Aqueduct of Segovia holds more than a millennia of history within its arches. Views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site are part of what makes studying at IE University’s Segovia Campus a truly unique experience. Dive into the history behind the monument.
How old is the Aqueduct in Segovia and who built it?
The aqueduct was a crucial structure built by the Romans. It was ordered to be built by Emperor Domitian sometime between the years 81 to 96 AD. The original date of completion was said to be 98 AD, but later evidence suggests it was completed around 112 AD, under the reign of Emperor Trajan, or in the beginning of the reign of Emperor Hadrian in 117 AD. The aqueduct had three bronze plaques placed, but unfortunately all of them are lost and have never been recovered. The original structure is over two thousand years old.
Why is the Aqueduct of Segovia important?
Now a popular symbol of the city, the Aqueduct of Segovia is an incredibly impressive architectural and engineering feat. The structure’s original purpose was to transport water from the Rio Frio river down to the city, just over a nine-mile journey. It did just that for more than a thousand years, and since has been hailed as the city’s most important architectural landmark. Its solid build served the city until the mid 19th century and, although has since been repaired, still stands in excellent condition.
What is unique about the Aqueduct of Segovia?
The aqueduct is unique because it is a Roman engineered monument that still stands today in near perfect condition. What’s more, the long-working aqueduct provided water to Segovia for more than a thousand years. Although maintaining the aqueduct was difficult, and the city eventually had to remove the building adjacent to the structure, the fact that it was fully functioning for more than a thousand years makes it one of a kind.
The portion that is visibly above ground is 2,388 feet long and 30 feet tall. The structure was built with around 24,000 granite stones from the Guadarrama Mountains and comprises over 165 arches. It was named a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1985 and now, visitors from around the world come to Segovia to take in the outstanding Roman structure.
When did people stop using the Aqueduct of Segovia?
The aqueduct was used for over a thousand years and parts of it have been reconstructed or replaced several times. By the mid nineteenth century, the granite stones began to decay, and the structure suffered some water leakage and pollution contamination. For this reason, the aqueduct was instead named as a historical site and no longer was used for its original purpose.