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12 astounding aqueducts

By: Matt Hickman on July 22, 2015, 11:21 a.m.
Pont du Gard in France

Photo: Wolfgang Staudt/Wikimedia Commons

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Architecture of conveyance

Aquaducts — usually monumental in size and architectural significance — carry water over natural and man-made obstacles: valleys, ravines, mountain passes, other bodies of water, even highways.

For many, aqueducts are most closely associated with the colossal arched edifices erected throughout the Roman Empire to provide burgeoning cities with fresh water sourced from mountain springs. Some of these soaring works of ancient infrastructure are still standing thousands of years later, a testament to Roman ingenuity. For others, the word aqueduct evokes the navigable, canal-carrying historic trough bridges found throughout the United Kingdom.

We've rounded up a dozen of the world's most distinctive aqueducts dating from the first century all the way through the last decade. Each is an impressive feat of civil engineering, like the Pont du Gard in France, seen here. (Text: Matt Hickman)