Aqueduct of Segovia : Roman Aqueducts

The Segovia Aqueduct in Spain

The Aqueduct of Segovia is a Roman construction.  The actual date of the building was not certain, until recently.   At the end of the 20th century, Géza Alföldy discovered that the Emperor Domitian (AD81-96) ordered the construction of the aqueduct.  Alfoldy studied the detail on the dedication plaque, by examining the anchors that had held the missing letters in place, and deciphered the missing details of when the Aqueduct was constructed.  This was during the second half of the 1st century AD.

The Aqueduct stands 28 metres high and is 813 metres in length.  It has 2 tiers and 118 arches.  The purpose of the building was to provide water to Segovia until the mid 19th century.

Aqueduct of Segovia : Roman Aqueducts
Aqueduct of Segovia : Roman Aqueducts

Getting there

The Aqueduct is 703 kilometres from Barcelona and lies south west of the city.  The journey by car would take just under 7 hours.  It you were to visit this amazing piece of architecture it would be worth travelling to Bajas airport in Madrid. The tourist attraction lies northwest from the airport and is only a 1 hour drive or 105 kilometers, along the A-6, the AP-6 and the AP-61.  Segovia is served by Bajas airport. Ryanair, EastJet and all travel into this airport.

Prior to the Romans discovering the Aqueduct and surrounding areas the Vaccaei people are thought to have originally made the area their home.

The first section of the building has 36 semi-circular arches.  These had to be re-built in the 15th century, as The Moors had destroyed this particular section in 1072.

The Moors

The Moors had been a famous historic battle between Sancho the Strong, the King of Castile and his brothers Alfonso the Brave and Garcia.  Their father, King Ferdinand had left both the two older brothers Sancho and Alfonso, the Kingdom of Leon.

However, Sancho was furious and refused to share his kingdom with his brothers and war broke out.  It was during this time that part of the Aqueduct was severely damaged.  Garcia fled to the Moorish King of Seville and Alfonso was drove into exile with the Moorish King of Toledo.

Urraca the sister supported Alfonso the Brave and as a result Sancho was killed in battle and Alfonso became the King of Leon and Castile.

The Aqueduct Construction

The building is made of un-mortared brick granite blocks.  When each of the largest three arches where built, a sign in flamboyant bronze letters, was displayed that had the name of the builder and the date that that particular arch was completed. 

The Founder of Aqueduct of Segovia

According to legend Hercules was the founder of the city and it is his name that is displayed over one of the arches.  The second arch has the image of The Patroness of Segovia, or Virgen de la Fuencisia and the third arch has the name of Saint Stephen displayed.  Therefore, as a result, this will explain why the Aqueduct is such a historic and very famous Spanish building that is visited by many tourists each year.


In 1985 the construction was given World Heritage Site inscription by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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