Discuss curious facts about the aqueduct of Segovia It means covering two thousand years of history. Because this magnificent engineering work was built in the second century after Jesus Christ, specifically, under the mandate of the emperor Trajan or beginning of Adriano.
Therefore, there are many curiosities, anecdotes and legends generated by this wonderful building that complements the spectacular Segovian monumental complex. We will also talk about this one, but now we are going to focus on curious facts about the Segovia aqueduct, which, on the other hand, is not the only one you can see in Spain. For example, in the no less impressive city of Mérida, do you have those of Miracles and San Lázaro.
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A Little History
The antecedent of the current Segovia is a celtiberian town that, during the wars between the Romans and the Lusitanians, he remained faithful to the former. Perhaps as a reward for this, over time it became an important city whose thousands of inhabitants needed water. That was the reason for the construction of the aqueduct.
Later, it was kept by the Visigoths, but not by the Muslims. In 1072, a part was destroyed by the incursion of Arab troops, although it was already rebuilt in the XNUMXth century. However, the aqueduct has been one of the monuments that have best withstood the passage of time in the world.
In fact, it has survived to this day in a good state of preservation. In spite of everything, the circulation of vehicles under its arches, which existed until 1992, and other circumstances wore it down. And this caused him to submit to restoration already at the beginning of the XNUMXst century.
The measurements of the aqueduct of Segovia
At first glance, you might think that this jewel of Roman engineering is limited to the part that we see in the square of Azoguejo in Segovia. This is the most famous, but the aqueduct measures 16 186 meters. It begins far from the city, in a place called The Holly, where are the Fuenfría water springs which was the one that led to the city.
However, curiously, the aqueduct does not have excessive unevenness. The first section reaches the cistern of the mansion. Then it goes to the call House of the Waters, where the sand was removed. And he continues along a section of one percent slope until he reaches Segovia. Already in this one, it goes through places like the Diaz Sanz and Azoguejo squares, where you can see its most popular part. Altogether, this impressive feat of engineering presents a slope of 5%.
The aqueduct in figures
If we are talking about curious facts about the Segovia aqueduct, we need to show you some of its most significant figures. First of all, we will tell you that it has 167 arches supported by 120 pillars. Also, 44 of those are double arcade and those at the top have a span of more than five meters, while the lower ones barely reach four and a half.
On the other hand, as is logical, the aqueduct has a thicker section at the bottom. Specifically, 240 by 300 centimeters. As for the one in the upper area, it is 180 by 250 centimeters. But more surprising is the following figure: in total, It is made up of 20 stones or large blocks of granite. Curiously, these are not glued with mortar, but arranged one on top of the other without sealing. The construction is supported by a complex and brilliant balance of forces.
You will also be interested in knowing other curious facts about the Segovia aqueduct: For example, that it has a maximum height of 28,10 meters and that his canal could transport between 20 and 30 liters of water per second. Less well known is that, on the tallest arches, there was a Roman poster cloned in bronze letters where the name of the builder and the year appeared.
Also, at the top two niches in one of which was an effigy of Hercules, founder of the town according to legend. Already in times of Catholic kings, statues of the Virgen del Carmen and San Sebastián. However, today only the first of these two remains, which others identify as the Virgin of the Fuencisla, patron saint of Segovia.
By the way, the word aqueduct also comes from Latin. concretely from the noun aqua and the verb ducere, which mean, respectively, "water" and "drive". Therefore, the literal translation would be "Where the water flows".
Legends and other curious facts about the Segovia aqueduct
A work with two thousand years of history had, by force, to give rise to curious legends. The most famous of them refers to its construction and involves the Devil. She says that a girl was in charge of supplying water to the manor house for which she worked and that it was located in the Plaza del Azoguejo. To do this, she had to climb the mountain every day and come down loaded with pitchers. It was very hard work because of the steep slopes that she had to overcome.
I was, therefore, tired of doing it. One day the Devil appeared to her and proposed a pact. she told him would build an aqueduct, but if he finished it before the cock crowed, he would keep his soul. The girl accepted the pact, although, while the Devil worked, she began to repent. Finally, when there was only one stone left to put and Satan promised them to be very happy, the animal sang announcing the morning and a ray of sun pierced the new construction. Thus, the Evil One failed and the girl saved his soul. Precisely, in the place where the stone is missing, was installed the image of the Virgin We have already mentioned you.
But the curious thing about this legend does not end here. Already in 2019, it was installed in the San Juan street a statue that has caused much controversy. Is about the effigy of an imp approximately one hundred and seventy centimeters tall, who is taking a selfie in front of the aqueduct itself. The work is due to the sculptor Jose Antonio Albella and wants to pay tribute to the famous legend. But not everyone liked it.
Segovia, much more than the aqueduct
As we told you at the beginning, we cannot finish this article without talking to you about other monuments that Segovia has and that they have nothing to envy to the aqueduct. Because they are as spectacular and magnificent as this one and have led to the declaration of the Castilian city as Heritage.
First of all, we must talk to you about Alcazar, a dream construction that will transport you to the cartoon castles of your childhood. In fact, it is said that he served Walt Disney as inspiration for the castle of Snow White. Its construction began at the beginning of the XNUMXth century and it is one of the most visited monuments in Spain. Twenty-two kings and many other outstanding personalities have passed through its halls.
As it rises on a hill that dominates the valley of the Eresma, its plant is irregular to adapt to the shape of the terrain. However, you can distinguish two parts in it: The first or exterior has a Herrerian patio with a moat and drawbridge. But its most important element is the precious tower of the homage or of Juan II, with its mullioned windows and its five towers. For its part, the second or interior includes rooms such as the Throne, La Galera or Las Piñasas well as the chapel.
No less value as a monument has the Cathedral of Santa María, which is the last built in Gothic style in Spain. In fact, it was already built in the XNUMXth century, in the Renacimiento. Call "The Lady of the Cathedrals", in its construction participated architects as important as Juan Gil de Hontanon. Externally, it stands out for its sobriety and its beautiful windows.
As for the interior, it has three naves and an ambulatory. In addition, we recommend that you see chapels like the one in Blessed Sacrament, with an altarpiece due to Jose de Churriguera, wave of San Andres, with a beautiful Flemish triptych by Ambrosius Benson. But no less beautiful is the main altarpiece by Sabatini or the chapel of the descent, with a Christ work of Gregory Fernandez. It also has an interesting museum which houses works of beruguete, Van Orley y Sanchez Coello.
The cathedral is not the only religious building that you should visit in Segovia. They are also impressive parral monasteries, with its Gothic, Mudejar and Plateresque cloisters, and of San Antonio el Real, Elizabethan Gothic style, although its main chapel is also Mudejar. Also, they are beautiful St Stephen's churches, with its slender tower, which houses the tallest Romanesque bell tower in Spain; the of San Millan y San Martin with its magnificent porticoes, or the of the true cross, Romanesque and attributed to the Templars.
Finally, regarding the civil architecture of Segovia, in addition to the Alcázar, you have to see the Tower of Lozoya, dated at the end of the XNUMXth century; the Palaces of the Marquises of Quintanar and the Marquis of Arco, both from the same period, and the houses of Juan Bravo, Diego de Rueda or Los Picos, so called because of its unique façade.
In conclusion, we have shown you the best curious facts about the aqueduct of Segovia. But we also wanted to talk to you about other wonders What does this beautiful city offer you? Castilla y Leon. Dare to meet her and discover these monuments for yourself.