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Roman aqueducts

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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2008, 03:17:14 pm »

As it lacks a legible inscription (one was apparently located in aqueduct's attic, or top portion), the date of construction cannot be definitively determined. Researchers have placed it between the second half of the 1st Century AD and the early years of the 2nd Century— during the reign of either Emperor Vespasian or Nerva. The beginnings of Segovia itself are likewise not definitively known. Vacceos are known to have populated the area before the Romans conquered the city. Roman troops sent to control the area, which fell within the jurisdiction of the Roman provincial court (Latin conventus iuridici, Spanish convento jurídico) located in Clunia, stayed behind to settle there.

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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2008, 03:18:07 pm »



The Ancient Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2008, 03:18:40 pm »

The aqueduct transports waters from Spring Fuenfría, situated in the nearby mountains some 17 kilometers (10.6 miles) from the city in a region known as La Acebeda. It runs another 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) before arriving in the city. The water is first gathered in a tank known as El Caserón (or Big House), and is then led through a channel to a second tower known as the Casa de Aguas (or Waterhouse). There it is naturally decanted and sand settles out before the water continues its route. Next the water travels 728 meters (.45 miles) on a one-percent grade until it is high upon the Postigo, a rocky outcropping on which the old city center, the Segovia Alcázar, was built. Then, at Plaza de Díaz Sanz (Díaz Sanz Square), the structure makes an abrupt turn and heads toward Plaza Azoguejo (Azoguejo Square). It is there the monument begins to display its full splendor. At its tallest, the aqueduct reaches a height of 28.5 meters (93.5 feet), including nearly 6 meters (19.7 feet) of foundation. There are both single and double arches supported by pillars. From the point the aqueduct enters the city until it reaches Plaza de Díaz Sanz, it boasts 75 single arches and 44 double arches (or 88 arches when counted individually), followed by four single arches, totalling 167 arches in all.

The construction of the aqueduct follows the principles laid out by Vitruvius as he describes in his De Architectura published in the mid-first century.

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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2008, 03:19:16 pm »



Scale model showing the aqueduct route
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« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2008, 03:19:48 pm »

The first section of the aqueduct contains 36 pointed arches, rebuilt in the 15th Century to restore a portion destroyed by Moors in 1072. The line of arches is organized in two levels, decorated simply, in which predominantly simple moulds hold the frame and provide support to the structure. On the upper level, the arches have a total width of 5.1 meters (16.1 feet). Built in two levels, the top pillars are both shorter and narrower than those on the lower level. The top of the structure contains the channel through which water travels, through a U-shaped hollow measuring 1.8 by 1.5 meters (5.9 by 4.9 feet). The channel continuously adjusts to the base height and the topography below. The lower-level arches have an approximate width of 4.5 meters (14.8 feet); Their pillars gradually increase in circumference size. The top of each pillar has a cross-section measuring 1.8 by 2.5 meters (5.9 by 8.2 feet), while the base cross-section measures approximately 2.4 by 3 meters (7.9 by 9.8 feet).

The aqueduct is built of unmortared, brick-like granite blocks. During the Roman era, each of the three tallest arches displayed a sign in bronze letters, indicating the name of its builder along with the date of construction. Today, two niches are still visible, one on each side of the aqueduct. One of them is known to have held the image of the Egyptian Hercules, who according to legend was founder of the city. The other niche now contains the images of the Virgen de la Fuencisla (the Patroness of Segovia) and Saint Stephen.

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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2008, 03:20:06 pm »

The first reconstruction of the aqueduct took place during the reign of the King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle, known as the Reyes Católicos or Catholic Monarchs. Don Pedro Mesa led the project, the prior of the nearby Jerónimos del Parral monastery. A total of 36 arches were rebuilt, with great care taken not to change any of the original work or style. Later, in the 16th Century, the central niches and above-mentioned statues were placed on the structure. On Saint Barbara's Day (4 December), who is the patron saint of artillery, the cadets of the local military academy drape the image of the Virgin in a flag.

The aqueduct is the city's most important architectural landmark. It had been kept functioning throughout the centuries and preserved in excellent condition. It provided water to Segovia, mainly to the Segovia Alcázar, until recently. During the 20th Century, the aqueduct suffered wear and tear due to pollution from heaters and automobiles. The latter used to pass below the arches. Natural erosion from the granite itself has also affected the structure through the years. Contrary to popular belief, vibrations caused by traffic do not affect the aqueduct due to its great mass. Restoration projects, supervised by architect Francisco Jurado, have been ongoing since 1997 in order to guarantee the aqueduct's survival. During the restoration, traffic has been re-routed, and Plaza Azoguejo has been converted into a pedestrian zone.

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« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2008, 03:20:49 pm »



Detail of recovered portions of the Aqueduct of Segovia.


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« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2008, 03:21:24 pm »

The Legend

According to a popular legend, sloth, rather than Romans, was responsible for the construction of the aqueduct. A woman who worked as a water carrier, fed up with hauling her pitcher through the steep streets of the city, made a pact with the devil: the devil could take her soul if water would arrive at her doorstep before the rooster crowed. When night fell, a great storm fell upon the city. None of its citizens except the woman knew that this was no normal storm, but instead was the devil working to keep his part of the bargain. However, she repented and prayed all night to avoid fulfilling the pact. According to the legend, the rooster crowed just before the devil could lay the final stone, and thus the woman's soul was saved.

The woman confessed her sin to the citizens who, after spraying the arches with holy water, were happy to accept the new addition to the city. Convinced that a miracle had saved the woman's soul, a statue of the Virgin and Saint Stephen were placed atop the aqueduct in commemoration.

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« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2008, 03:21:59 pm »



Roman aqueduct at en:Segovia, en:Spain. From 1911 Encyc. Brit.

en:de:Bild:Aquaeduct-Segovia.jpg
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« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2008, 03:22:47 pm »

Tarragona

Tarragona (IPA: [tərəˈɣonə] in Catalan) is a city located in the south of Catalonia and east of Spain, by the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. Its map coordinates are 41°06′56.51″N, 1°14′58.54″E. As of the 2005 census, the city had a population of 128,152, and the population of the entire urban area (including Reus, etc) was estimated to be 348,921.

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« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2008, 03:23:31 pm »

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« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2008, 03:24:03 pm »

In Roman times, the city was named Tarraco (Ταρρακών in Ptolemy, ii. 6. § 17) and was capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis (after being capital of Hispania Citerior in the Republican era). The Roman colony founded at Tarraco had the full name of Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco.

Some experts suggest that the city was an Iberic town called Kesse or Kosse, derived of the iberic tribe of those region: the cosetians.Smith suggests that the city was probably founded by the Phoenicians, who called it 'Tarchon, which, according to Samuel Bochart, means a citadel. This name was probably derived from its situation on a high rock, between 700 and 800 feet above the sea; whence we find it characterised as arce potens Tarraco. (Auson. Class. Urb. 9; cf. Mart. x. 104.) It was seated on the river Sulcis or Tulcis (modern Francolí), on a bay of the Mare Internum (Mediterranean Sea), between the Pyrenees and the river Iberus (modern Ebro). (Mela, ii. 6; Plin. iii. 3. s. 4.) Livy (xxii. 22) mentions a portus Tarraconis; and according to Eratosthenes (ap. Strabo iii. p. 159) it had a naval station or roads (Ναύσταθμον); but Artemidorus (ap. Strab. l. c.; Polyb. iii. 76) says with more probability that it had none, and scarcely even an anchoring place; and Strabo himself calls it ἀλίμενος. This answers better to its present condition; for though a mole was constructed in the 15th century with the materials of the ancient amphitheatre, and another subsequently by an Englishman named John Smith, it still affords but little protection for shipping. (Ford's Handbook of Spain, p. 222.) Tarraco lies on the main road along the south-eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. (Itin. Ant. pp. 391, 396, 399, 448, 452.) It was fortified and much enlarged by the brothers Publius and Gnaeus Scipio, who converted it into a fortress and arsenal against the Carthagenians. Subsequently it became the capital of the province named after it, a Roman colony, and conventus juridicus. (Plin. l. c.; Tac. Ann. i. 78; Solin. 23, 26; Polyb. x. 34; Liv. xxi. 61; Steph. B. p. 637.)

Augustus wintered at Tarraco after his Cantabrian campaign, and bestowed many marks of honor on the city, among which were its honorary titles of Colonia Victrix Togata and Colonia Julia Victrix Tarraconensis. The city also minted coins. (Grut. Inscr. p. 382; Orelli, no. 3127; coins in Eckhel, i. p. 27; Florez, Med. ii. p. 579; Mionnet, i. p. 51, Suppl. i. p. 104; Sestini, p. 202.) According to Mela (l. c.) it was the richest town on that coast, and Strabo (l. c.) represents its population as equal to that of Carthago Nova (modern Cartagena). Its fertile plain and sunny shores are celebrated by Martial and other poets; and its neighborhood is described as producing good wine and flax. (Mart. x. 104, xiii. 118; Sil. Ital. iii. 369, xv. 177; Plin. xiv. 6. s. 8, xix. 1. s. 2.)

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« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2008, 03:24:47 pm »

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« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2008, 03:25:17 pm »

Ancient remains

There are still many important ancient remains at Tarragona. Part of the bases of large Cyclopean walls near the Quartel de Pilatos are thought to be anterior to the Romans. The building just mentioned, a prison in the 19th century, is said to have been the palace of Augustus. But Tarraco, like most other ancient towns which have continued to be inhabited, has been pulled to pieces by its own citizens for the purpose of obtaining building materials. The amphitheatre near the sea-shore has been used as a quarry, and but few vestiges of it now remain. A circus, 1500 feet long, is now built over it, though portions of it are still to be traced. Throughout the town Latin, and even apparently Phoenician, inscriptions on the stones of the houses proclaim the desecration that has been perpetrated. Two ancient monuments, at some little distance from the town, have, however, fared rather better. The first of these is a magnificent aqueduct, which spans a valley about a mile from the gates. It is 700 feet in length, and the loftiest arches, of which there are two tiers, are 96 feet high. The monument on the northwest of the city, and also about a mile distant, is a Roman sepulchre, commonly called the "Tower of the Scipios"; but there is no authority for assuming that they were buried here. (Cf. Ford, Handbook, p. 219, seq.; Florez, Esp. Sagr. xxix. p. 68, seq.; Miñano, Diccion. viii. p. 398.)

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« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2008, 03:25:46 pm »

In the forest a few kilometers north of the city, a Roman arch bridge carrying an aqueduct has been preserved. It is known locally as "Devil's Bridge" (El Pont del Diable in Catalan, or El Puente del Diablo in Spanish). [1]
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