The Los Milagros Aqueduct - History and Facts | History Hit

The Los Milagros Aqueduct

Merida, Extremadura, Spain

The Los Milagros Aqueduct in Merida supplied water to the Ancient Roman city of Augusta Emerita.

Antara Bate

01 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About The Los Milagros Aqueduct

The Los Milagros Aqueduct is an incredibly well-preserved Roman water supply system in Merida, Spain.

The Los Milagros Aqueduct history

Comprised of a trio of levels of looming brick arches, the remains of the Los Milagros Aqueduct are a fantastic example of Roman engineering.

This colossal aqueduct is part of a hydraulic system that brought waters from the Proserpina Dam, also known as the Albuera Reservoir. It is popularly known as “Los Milagros” (“The Miraculous One”) because of the admiration that its state of conservation brings about in locals and visitors, especially considering the vicissitudes of time. It lives up to its popular name, as more than 800 metres of this aqueduct still stand today and some of its brick and granite support structures rise twenty-seven metres above the ground.

At the north end, where the valley of the Albarregas River starts, the construction had a type of pool to purify the water, which likewise served as a water source. As the thalweg becomes more pronounced, the height of the support piles and the number of arcades increases; all so that the hydraulic system remains suspended at the perfect height for water to flow into the city.

In ancient Roman times, the Los Milagros Aqueduct would have supplied water to Augusta Emerita, which was the capital of Roman Lusitania and which would become modern Merida.

The Los Milagros Aqueduct today

Today, it is visible from afar and can be viewed from the roadside and surrounding fields. Only a relatively small stretch of the aqueduct still stands, consisting of 38 arched pillars standing 25 metres high along a course of some 830 metres.

Together with other sites such as the Merida Roman Circus and Merida Amphitheatre, the Los Milagros Aqueduct is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Getting to the Los Milagros Aqueduct today

Mérida is strategically located in a valley at the confluence of two rivers, the Guadiana and the Albarregas.

The area is well connected to nearby cities by bus and train. The nearest airports are Badajoz Airport 50 km away and Seville Airport 200km away.

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