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12 astounding aqueducts

By: Matt Hickman on July 22, 2015, 11:21 a.m.
The aqueduct in Segovia, Spain

Photo: Frank Kovalchek/flickr

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Aqueduct of Segovia

If the ancient Spanish city of Segovia's 2,000-year-old namesake aqueduct doesn't scream "staggering feat of Roman engineering" then, honestly, we're not sure what will.

Joining a host of Romanesque churches, a storybook castle and one hell of a Gothic cathedral, Segovia's two-tiered aqueduct bridge all but dominates the skyline of Segovia's World Heritage Site-listed old city. Nearly 3,000 feet in length and a towering 94-feet-tall, the heraldic aqueduct — completion date circa A.D. 50 — is, after all, the only Segovia landmark to appear on the city's coat of arms. Composed of 167 monumental granite stone arches that march across the city, the mighty aqueduct, in regular use up until the late 19th century, is also the only Segovia landmark to be constructed overnight by an army of industrious demons under the employ of Old Scratch himself. The mystery-shrouded mythology surrounding this well-preserved work of infrastructure has earned it the nickname Puenta de Diablo — the Devil’s Bridge — as historians and archaeologists have been unable to credit the structure to a single person nor pin down an exact build date. Satanic back story aside, visitors should keep their eyes peeled for a statue of the Virgin of Fuencisla, patron saint and protector of Segovia, nestled within the upper arches of the immense edifice.