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When it comes to the great achievements of architecture, the Romans are among the greatest builders of the world’s history. The legacy that they left behind them is an unprecedented glimpse into the origins of modern construction, and it became a stepping stone into the iconic medieval building methods that we know today.
Some of the surviving Roman buildings and monuments are breathtaking, even now, many centuries after they were built. And one of such creations is the famed Roman Aqueduct of Segovia, in Spain. This monumental creation continues to stand firm, almost 2,000 years after its completion, and is as astonishing as it was on the first day.
It truly is a testament to the highly advanced skills of the Roman builders, and an important insight into the secrets of constructing such a complex creation. Join us today, as we marvel at the architectural legacy of Romans and revisit the magnificent Segovia aqueduct.
In the Heart of Spain – The Aqueduct of Segovia Through the Ages
The historic city of Segovia is located in north-western central Spain, in the autonomous region of Castile and Leon. This important city is rich in history and sights, as it is located on an important trading route between Merida and Zaragossa.
The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia, in the historical city of Segovia, Spain. (Fæ / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
In ancient history, this was an important Celtiberian settlement, which then passed into the Roman’s hands. Located on a steep and isolated hill, built typically at the junction of two rivers, Segovia was located on the main road between two important roman settlements of Caesaraugusta and Emerita.
This gave it importance and influenced its rapid expansion in Roman times . But even though it was never as large as the aforementioned towns, Segovia was still populated enough to warrant a creation of an aqueduct which would supply the town with water. It was also necessary due to the lack of fresh water springs in the vicinity because of the largely granite and rocky landscape in this part of the country.
The exact period of the creation of this aqueduct was never determined with 100% accuracy. As it lacks any crucial inscriptions to help with dating it, the creation was for a long time a highly debated subject among historians. What everyone did agree on, was a general timeline of 1st century AD. This places the construction period during the reigns of Roman emperors Domitian, Trajan, and Nerva.
In the late 20th century, one researcher came forward with important research to help put an exact date of creation. This was Mr. Alföldy, a famous historian from Hungary. He based this research on the study of bronze anchors.
These are the only remains of a large inscription that once stood on the bridge of the aqueduct. The inscription was made from large bronze letters, which have been missing for a very long time. By studying these remaining anchors that held them, Alföldy managed to piece out the possible message that once stood there. It went as follows:
IMP NERVAE TRAIANVS CAES AVG GERM P M TR P II CO S II PATRIS PATRIAE IVSSV
P. MVMMIVS MVMMIANVS ET P. FABIVS TAVRVS IIVIRI MVNIC FL SEGOVIESIVM
Once translated, the message states:
“By the order of Emperor Nerva Trajan Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Pontifex Maximus, holder of the tribunician power for the second time, father of the country – Publius Mummius Mummianus and Publius Fabius Taurus, co-magistrates of the Flavian municipality of the Segovians, restored the aqueduct.”
This places it around 100 AD, but judging by the inscription, which indicates the repairs carried out on the order of Trajan, the actual construction could have been started earlier, in the time of Emperor Domitian. But either way, most scholars agree that the birth of the Aqueduct of Segovia dates on earlier than the 1st century AD.
A Monumental Achievement – The Segovia Aqueduct In Detail
The actual waterway system of the Segovia aqueduct is close to 10.6 miles (17 kilometers) long. It was designed to carry water from the closest freshwater source - the Rio Frío - which is located in the mountains of Sierra de Guadarrama.
From this river, the Roman built channels that would carry water through the rolling hilly landscape all the way to Segovia and the overlooking castle of Alcázar . The castle itself was built in the 12th century.
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The Aqueduct of Segovia overlooks the castle of Alcázar. (Rafesmar / CC BY-SA 4.0 )
As it traverses those 10.6 miles (17 kilometers), the fresh water passes through mostly pastoral meadows, and a few copses of trees. On its path it flows through several sluices, ducts, settling tanks, and at a few places – underground channels.
When constructing aqueducts, the Romans preferred a spring as the source of water. When compared to a river, springs provided a lesser risk of contamination, and the water was purer. But in the area of Segovia, they had to settle with the Rio Frío as the source.
This source is located at an altitude of 13,509 feet (1255 meters), where the water is diverted into the channel of the beginning of the aqueduct. From there it generally follows the contours of the landscape.
About a half of mile (a kilometer) from the actual city walls of ancient Segovia, the channel was faced with a deep valley. And that’s how the Aqueduct of Segovia came to be. The Romans bridged this gap by creating a two story network of stone arches, which support the portion of a wall above and the waterway.
This aqueduct bridge, which is so famous today, is just a small portion of the entire waterway, roughly 5% of the complete length. The bridge is supported by 118 pillars and 119 arches. Of these arches, 42 are two storied.
The ashlars (finely made square stones) of the raised structure number some 25,000. They were made from local granite stone, and interestingly, were originally constructed without any mortar. The complete aqueduct bridge weighs close to 20,000 tons and contains close to 264,860 cubic feet (7,500 cubic meters) of granite.
The ashlars of the Segovia aqueduct were made from local granite stone. ( Luis / Adobe Stock)
All of it was quarried locally, some 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) away from Segovia and transported to the construction site. This is no small feat, once you consider that there are numerous granite blocks that weigh a ton, and the largest block that weights two tons.
The cleaning basins, used to sift the sand from the transported water, are located at several key places along the length of the aqueduct. These were the usual parts of Roman aqueducts and were important for the cleanliness of the water. Since sand was carried from the river source, it threatened to erode the channel itself, and needed to be removed.
These basins caught this sandy sediment by the process of decanting, with the sand remaining on the bottom and clean water continuing on its way. The remaining sand was either flushed out, or in some cases, removed by hand.
One interesting fact about this aqueduct, and the proof that Roman architecture was built to last, is the fact that the Segovia aqueduct was used continuously well after the Romans were gone. It has supplied water almost to the present day.
This is the main reason for the good preservation of the aqueduct bridge and the channel, and it still stands much like it was in the Roman times. Albeit, with a few repairs done to it over the centuries, but without changing any of the original structure.
The first considerable threat that the aqueduct received, was during the reign of Alfonso the VI. In 1072 AD, the Berber Muslim king of Toledo, Yahya ibn Ismail Al-Mamun, attempted to conquer Segovia. In the process it is likely that a portion of the aqueduct suffered damage – around 36 arches. Afterwards, some of the dislocated granite blocks were reused by Alfonso VI for the strengthening of his castle.
The damaged arches were reconstructed - as accurately as was possible – during the rule of Isabella I of Castile y León – around 1483. Today, these repairs can be distinguished by the slightly pointed arches – a feature typical of the repair period.
Restored portion of the Segovia aqueduct. (Dodo / CC BY-SA 3.0 )
The repairs and preservation was continued afterwards, step by step, during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Some more drastic measures meant that the original Roman construction was done away with. There was also the rapid expansion of the population of Segovia to consider.
Several homes and buildings were erected right adjacent to the aqueduct bridge, and the location, which was used as a central market zone, further threatened the stability of the structure. This resulted in the demolition of all the buildings built around it – in 1803 and 1806 respectively.
The Modern Threats to an Ancient Structure
But even well into the 19th and 20th centuries, the modernization of the town of Segovia and the onset of motorized traffic , all threatened the survival of the aqueduct, even though it was named the “Monumento Histórico Artístico de carácter nacional” in 1941 and brought into the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1985 alongside the entire old town of Segovia.
The location was the place of a busy traffic intersection, and vehicles passed in several lanes between the ancient Roman arches . The officials even proposed the demolition and removal of one of the central arches in order to ease the flow of traffic.
The traffic was a big threat to the aqueduct, since the vibrations of the many passing vehicles caused cracks and destabilized the structure. During the late 1980’s, engineers implored the public, claiming that the traffic and the continued disregard for the safety of the monument would lead to its imminent collapse.
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Aqueduct of Segovia as seen from the air. (Jynus / CC BY-SA 2.0 )
After this disconcerting alarm, the Council of Europe sent a mission of several chief engineers to determine the actual state of the aqueduct. Several key aspects that contributed to the deterioration were attested, mainly the vehicular pollution that deteriorated the stone, the wind erosion, and the continued vibrations.
This led to the eventual elimination of all traffic beneath and around the bridge, in 1992. After this achievement, the administrative council of Castille y León embarked on a dedicated preservation campaign, undertaking many crucial endeavors that would prolong the life of this national treasure of Spain.
Along the entire 10.6 mile (17 kilometer) course of the Segovian aqueduct, many portions remain fully or partially visible to everyone. At the source, at the altitude of 13,509 feet (1255 meters) in Sierra de Guaderrama, lies the preserved Roman caption – the granite block construction that channels the Rio Aceveda, a small mountain stream and the tributary of Rio Frio, into the further channel of the aqueduct.
This source is made from large granite blocks, and contains the groove for a sluice gate, which was used by the Romans. The whole caption remains one of the best preserved of its type.
Further along, there are many portions of the original Roman channel remaining. Some are open, while others are protected by granite cover stones. There are also small granite bridges, such as the one crossing the little brook Valdeconejos, which was cleverly constructed to divert the water from the brook into the aqueduct channel above.
Another remaining structure, which is only partially of original Roman construction, is the large water cleaning building in Segovia itself. Known as “El Caserón”, this big building served as the basin for decanting the sand from the water. It contains the 6.6 foot (2 meter) deep basin for sand, which would be flushed through a side channel.
The water continues on its course further away, to the second basin building known as the “Casa de Aqua”. This is a slightly larger and deeper basin, without a flushing channel. All of these remnants are important insights into the construction methods and the general anatomy of a Roman aqueduct.
Aqueduct of Segovia Withstanding the Test of Time
The Aqueduct of Segovia stands out in the landscape – a monumental, incredible creation of monolithic proportions. It dominates the town of Segovia and stands as an unshakable testament to the far reaching Roman Empire and their grand achievements. It is also one of the best preserved Roman creations on the Iberian Peninsula , and certainly one of the most famous ones.
The Aqueduct of Segovia stands out in the landscape and is one of the most magnificent works of the Romans on the peninsula. (Antonio Marín Segovia / CC BY-SA 2.0 )
Since 1273, it was also a symbol of Segovia and a part of their coat of arms. This tells us that this important water source was highly praised for its entire “lifetime”. And thanks to the continued efforts of the activists that fight for its preservation, this immortal Roman monument will continue to inspire all the generations that will dwell in its titanic shadow.
DAILY RECAP 10/15/19: DAILY SCRIPTURE: COLOSSIANS: CHAPTER 1: TURKEY IN THE NEWS TODAY- HUNT OIL (MEDICIS )UNDER ATTACK
The land where Paul and the disciples and others of the earliest sharing of the Gospel was Turkey. and later on..the Ottoman Turks..conquered most of the middle east and held it until the WORLD WAR I. and that included Jerusalem and Israel.
Many of the Letters to the 7 churches. are in the area of Turkey. and now its not the best to be Christians there. and the Kurds are under attack which many of them are said still to be Christians.
A WORLD AT WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS and fighting the same conflicts among peoples and nations over times. only the weapons seem to have changed. but the squabbles and hatreds seem to still exist. among people..whose DNA would probably find them all an extended family from the most ancient of time.
Hunt Oil was given the contracts for the rich oil fields of the Kurds early on in the Gulf wars under Bush 43. and his VP Dick Cheney whose grandfather was my Great Uncle Charley Hunt (not Dickey and another bio out that is not completely accurate from a politician. )
His mother, like mine, her cousin. were cousins of the founder of Hunt Oil - Albert Hunt Junior and H.L Hunt brothers. Descendants of the Medici through their grandmother who fled Europe as she did not wish to marry Franz Josepf Hapsburg and reinstitute the Holy Roman Empire back in the 1800's fleeing with a group introducing square dancing to Europe. Fled before European tour was completed. and Europe never learned how to square dance. and Russell Hunt and she married at a Methodist church in Fort Ann New York. which made their descendant not have a pure Roman catholic pedigree when it was decided in 1948 that he, young Polish priest should become Pope and did in 1978 Pope John Paul II. when the Vatican became a nation as well as head of the biggest Christian sect. on earth..
few know that the Medici or Borgias..and other family names. have held the power in the Vatican since 1215 or their about. and there is not vs or dissing any with sincere faith. BUT ITS A POLITICAL AS WELL AS RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION. and comes with all the failings and faults of any human institution run by imperfect humans who can make mistakes. as any one of us can.
Its not easy being from the inside with being a direct witness to so much. and how did VP Cheney become a Dickey and bio put out not completely accurate?
His mother was A Hunt and married a man called Dickey and was divorced. Its only been a few decades when it was scandalous to even be a divorced woman. let alone do anything as public as be a star softball player on a women's team. which she is well known for doing..
And later on she married Cheney and had her family. In VP Dick' biography. there are pictures of some folks called Dickey. and one of his grandfather in a railroad car where he was a cook on the railroad and retired on a railroad pension. The woman in the picture does look like his mother and but. the man is Charley Hunt. not Dickey.
I met great Uncle Charley back in 1953 at age 8 and got a synopsis of family history and at that time he had no idea where his second family was ..the first. I saw pictures. and on LINDA JOY ADAMS @FLKR.. is a picture of me and great Uncle Charley when we visited him back in 1953. in Holyoke Colorado. not long after Albert Jr and H L Hunt had his nephews, had visited him and fining him living in poor means.in a room ..behind a small town grocer. they had wanted to build him a new home. and he said he would not take their 'blood money" but did give in and let them buy him a new wood stove which he showed us.
And here I have those online again. dissing me as if I do not know my own family and history and names. and stories. and I was raised by a mother who was a historian and knew who was who. and even those she knew and met outside the family often knew their ancestors also. As a young girl. of 11 and 12 she knew her famous grandmother. who only went back to a Catholic church once. got into an argument with the priest. and never returned. But some of her descendants did return to the fold of their ancestry. and one daughter studied at the Sorbonne's..in France met a man from Poland. and died in childbirth was Pope John Paul II's grandmother. is the family story. and in 1978 real bio got out for a bit. but the media folded into no more sharing.
And most in this world have little understanding of the far reaching effect of the Vatican for good or not. in far more than millions who profess a faith in that one denomination.
I have issues with some of their doctrines. and prefer those where there is allowance for differences of interpretations of many matters none of us yet know the full truth of many mysteries….but the core of faith in Christ as Divine Love in the flesh. in some mysterious way from the I AM WHO I AM. is real and in my soul I know its real. even if science and our human minds cannot fully understand it all.
In the name of Yahusha, whom we Christians call Christ Jesus. may we continue the path to truth and Divine Love You are part of and may we accept Your unconditional love for us. and be filled with Your Holy Spirit. And may the world on the verge of hell of war breaking out find their way to ease the hurts of history and find the full truth of who is the power players in all of this. and motives that may not be fully clear. now. find our way to peace among all of the human family and fairness and justice for one and all. And may our new Sec of Labor. be told the whole truth of the horrors going on with my cases and injustices. and find his way to help me and others..that have been denied our rights. with thefts of files. and contractors running around given verbal orders for years.with no oversight….and all bowing and doing illegal acts on verbal orders. as even judges orders and files withheld. from the real govt. and worse is the slander and gossip spewed out to discredit unearthing an overthrow of our govt since the law of 2002 removed the rights of govt to use existing budget to audit or prosecute crimes committed. and pray for those who have jobs with this cabal who had no idea they were gong to be employed by the biggest organized crimes ring or ricco case in human history. and those who promised to uphold the laws of the land. fall into traps of passing on their verbal false and illegal orders as if its OK to cause even death and destruction of lives and livelihoods. as they bind up their souls. with no way out and no govt allowed to act. to stop it..as we live under this until our Congress allows the real govt to be in charge and stop massive illegally harms being done. And may those who make the main meds fr millions like me. find it n their souls to stop putting violent harming additives and binders in main meds we need to survive. and me with only high school chemistry trying to figure out how to survive and still with inflamed and swollen body and even blood inflammation as not quite getting it. and years of living that should medically be .but stolen from me if help is not taken by those who let this happen in govt. and is not available.even gag orders hide a hidden horror. and so many who have lost their lives. already. in a holocaust. none in this cabal and those in congress and higher levels of govt. are willing to face and do what they can to stop this overthrow of a nation. and president's stripped of their constitutional power to act as not right to use budget to do so.
Forgive us Christ for creating a hell on earth when You taught us how to have a heaven on earth and taught us to pray for it. May we fix this mess we have made of Your creation. pray for all those being slandered and lied about far higher in powers of the nation than this humble civil servant. who understands it well. Pray for the one who called me today. and could not face truths and seemed to be under orders to handle me. as admitted SHE COULD BE IN REAL TROUBLE WITH HERE SUPERVISOR. OVER HOW OUR CALL WENT. and I was not intended to be helped seemed very clear. Pray for those inside caught in such binding to not be able to do what is rights and ethical as govts are to be. for each one of us. In Your Holy Name Amen!
Vote and be part of the solution!
And our new Sec of Labor Scalia. surely has no idea that his chief of staff or title not listed. had another call me today. and basically called me a liar. with no judges orders or files seen or read. and why? TO CREATE A BUFFER OF KEEP THEM IGNORANT OF REAL GOINGS ON. AROUND ANOTHER POLITICAL CABINET HEAD. whom will be handled until a new administration comes along. and handle hat one also. so this deep state cabal inside. if even was called by one employed by real govt. and in full denial of facts. READ TE JUDGES ORDERS. to ask me. for the facts and the horror of trying to stay alive. when the obstructions to even safe meds lies with US DEPT OF LABOR'S CONTRACTORS ALSO in charge of HHS and much of the rest of the nation and even states and local govt. now. and none allowed to spend one budget penny to stop them. AS WELL AS OVER AT DOD .CONTRACTORS WHO MAKE OUR WEAPONS. inside and management and in control OF OUR DATA, RECORDS OF GOVT AND MUCH IS OUR PERSONAL ONES AND MEDICAL. AND MESSED WITH AT WILL and FBI DATA BASE. and whatever else. all clamor to say do this or that. and leave unprotected. and none of the 12 on stage tonight who wish to get rid of Pres Trump before an election where we the people decide. not one mentions how THEY HAVE OVERTHROWN AND KEEP THE NATION OVERTHROWN INTO THE CONTROL OF AN INTERNATIONAL CABAL WITH DEEP ROOTS INTO A HIGH POWER GROUP OF A VERY FEW AT THE VERY TOP. both secular, and face of faiths. not the faiths of each one. sincerely has..
95% VOTE AND BE PART OF THE SOLUTION..
While much seems better. hell is flourishing too from the swamp up. and our presidents now and former. no power to stop it. and seems some prior ones. got into the mire and muck along with it. instead.
(scroll down the side or below for)
MEDICAL REGIMEN.. in 5 parts in sections of 9 Daily recaps
(Please do not try any medical treatments without doctor and some does need prescription for millions with no safe meds made. due to illegal manipulations of data bases. and worse coercions to billing within info giver systems. and even billing services and clearing houses are owned by same entity as the whole nations almost. or all forced to use..even when not legally compliant and many excluded from their categories existing in them. )
VIOLATIONS OF CIVIL RIGHTS PAGE 62FF -83 and some of 70's not posted.
every day more incidents of violations of civil rights and after long phone conversation last Friday. pleading for my very survival. and today with some in denial or never allowed to know. and then today. with a real handle me or the new Sec of Labor might clean house. and some go to jail. seemed all too real. as a long pattern of behaviors like this of those who are to get rid of her. as she might expose corruption. and just illegal acts vs me and my files and data..is the proof already I just plead for my life and stop doing such harms. to anyone. and I value all life, especially mine. and even the one who did not understand she lives under this cabal also now and heaven forbid. she ends up like me. begging for her life and trying to be factual and professional about it. but pleading for the crimes to stop and slander and worse to cover it up and LET HER DIE ORDER THAT APPLIES TO MILLIONS OF US JUST IN USA. not just me.
And little was said tonight that seemed to get to the real issues. of congress not allowing existing budget to be used to audit a contractors or criminally prosecute..one. and allowing shell companies to be set up and get the contracts back that abuses of powers go so bad. with complaints not renewed. but come back in with shell companies and THERE ARE LAWS THAT FORBID IT AND A FALSE REPORT GOT FILED ON ME FOR KNOWING IT WAS.
EXPOSE TRUTH AND GET SLANDERED AND WORSE.
Vote and be part of the solution. and do not forget those crucial local and state elections where the balance of powers vs the feds is another level of protection for one and all of us.
And think about what is the real agendas over with the Kurds, Syria and Turkey etc. now. and 1000 of our soldiers caught in the middle. of. history and hidden history. that is not being debated on the open stage of a presidential debate. that even I do not fully know all the facts of. but am aware more than some of who some of the players are. and how they got to be such. and that is among those things I know from growing up inside some of it. and time for the whole truth to be revealed to keep all of us alive and surviving.