Lisbon is the district with the most aqueducts in Portugal, a country that, when it comes to this cultural heritage of water, stands out for its aqueduct with the most arches or the highest water-in-the-wall in the world.
In Portugal there are at least 42 aqueducts, of which 15 built for public water supply and 26 for private supply, “Although at some points along the way you have to respect that there was a concession for public fountains”, he told the Lusa Pedro Inácio agency, author of the work “Cultural Heritage of Water – Route of Aqueducts”.
The book, edited by the Mafra Chamber, in partnership with the UNESCO National Commission and the Water Museum, was presented this Thursday at the Folio – International Literary Festival of Óbidos, in a session in which the author shared curiosities that mark the route through 42 aqueducts.
Folio. Óbidos Literary Festival starts this Thursday with an edition dedicated to the “Other”
Lisbon, with 12 examples of these constructions destined for the transport and distribution of water, is the country’s district with the most aqueducts, but, according to Pedro Inácio, “the Arcos aqueduct, in Setúbal, is the one that studies indicate as having been the first to be built in Portugal.“, estimated to have entered into operation in the year 1,500.
From the survey that embodies the work, the author points out “several curiosities” highlighting, for example, the aqueduct of Vila do Conde, such as the one with “Largest number of arches in the world”, section 999 along its length, which ends at the Monastery of Santa Clara.
“Practically it is the aqueduct that was projected, in its entirety, only and only in arches”, ending at the Santa Clara Monastery, also in Vila do Conde, which “some people symbolically call the thousand arch”, said the also conservator of the Water Museum.
In turn, the largest gravitational aqueduct in Portugal is the Alviela, with 114 kilometers long, built in 1880 to reinforce the water supply to the city of Lisbon, bringing it from Alcanena and “having gravity as the only driving force”, explains the author.
The Águas Livres aqueduct, in Lisbon, stands out for having the tallest arch in the world, built in stone, with “65 meters high, counted from the old Ribeira de Alcântara to the sidewalk where you can cross the aqueduct, from Campolide to the forest park of Monsanto”, he explained.
In Alentejo, the author highlights, in Elvas, the aqueduct with “four levels of arches, with the greatest extension in the world”, totaling 1,113 meters. And, in Serpa, the aqueduct has “the biggest water-supply for the Iberian Peninsula, with a height of 20 meters”.
No territory that has four aqueducts classified as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Heritage (UNESCO) – Tomar, Évora, Elvas and Mafra -, there is also a record of the case of the Santa Clara aqueduct, in Coimbra, built with the purpose of supplying the Santa Clara Monastery, but which, “due to calculation errors, never it actually worked ”and, after never having managed to take the water to its destination, it ended up being“ partially knocked down ”when the local complementary itinerary was built (IC2).
Along with the most complete guide to aqueducts ever published in Portugal, the book also includes a chapter dedicated to Jardim do Cerco, in Mafra, where King João V, the Magnanimous, ordered the planting of all kinds of trees and plants from all over the world.
The work can be purchased at municipal libraries, for the value of 20 euros, with a bilingual edition still available.
The Folio – International Literary Festival of Óbidos, takes place in the village until Sunday, marked by more than 160 initiatives in which 175 authors participate.
The program includes sixteen author tables, nine concerts, 10 functions, four comics workshops, among other initiatives.