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SegoviaAlhambra + MeridaEvoraTarragona

Acequia                                                                                                                                                    Table of contents

AcequiaThe earliest irrigation works in Spain descend from the Romans. After the downfall of the Roman empire and the arrival of the Visigoths (4th century) a large part deteriorated.
The arabic-islamitic immigrants ('andalusíes'), who brought their irrigation techniques to Spain in the 8th century, re-established and
improved what was left of the Roman system and built a new irrigation system (not just the acequias, but also the agricultural terraces in the Alpujarras). Acequia means litteraly 'irrigation canal'. Acequias are a irrigation network of main and secundary canals. Through these canals flow rain and Acequiameltwater of the mountain tops to the agricultural terraces on the slopes and the farms in the valleys, via branches and sluices. You can still find a working
acequia-irrigation system in Alpujarras, on the southern flank of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Andalusia (Southern Spain).

How? Canals digged out of the rock (sometimes 1 m wide), small gutters, concrete grooves, 'diversions' made of pvc, hollowed out tree trunks. The walls of the canals are often made of natural materials (twigs, ground and sods). That's why the slopes and sources are "fed" with part of the water that oozes away. Sometimes the flow is canalised between walls of rocks, put there ages ago.


Please click on the photographs for more information on the splendid aqueducts of Segovia and Alhambra + Merida.



In 1574 in Plasencia this "Acueducto de San Antón" was finished.



Four kilometers northwest of Tomar (Portugal) one can find the remains of the "Aqueduto de Pegòes Alto", (1593-1614, architect Filippo Terzi). It took care of the water supply of the convent. The aqueduct is 5 km long and has 180 arches. You can walk on it, if you are not afraid of heights!

Tomar Aqueduct