Grand – a concept with many enterpretations. A moment I will never forget, is when I was walking down this street and first layed eyes on the Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain. In front of me were these two grand old gentlemen too, and I could listen to them discussing everyday problems.
The Aqueduct’s date of construction cannot be definitively determined, but at the end of the 20th century, a German archaeologist managed to determine that actually it was the Emperor Domitian (AD 81-96) who ordered its construction.
The aqueduct transports water from Fuente Fría river, situated in the nearby mountains, some 17 km (11 mi) from the city in the region La Acebeda. It runs another 15 km (9.3 mi) 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 m (796 yd) on a one-percent grade until it is high upon the Postigo, a rocky outcropping on which the old city center 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 splendour.
At its tallest, the aqueduct reaches a height of 28.5 m (93 ft 6 in), including nearly 6 m (19 ft 8 in) 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 includes 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.
For me, this meeting with the ancient Aqueduct was a truly grand moment.