The most visited and photographed sight in Segovia and the symbol of the city, the ancient Roman aqueduct of Segovia boasts a scale and state of preservation unmatched anywhere in Europe.
Segovia's aqueduct stretches from the southeast end of the city across the Plaza del Azoguejo to the southeastern walls of the old city. Its scale and stones are best admired from the Plaza, but then be sure to climb the stairs to the city walls for a view over the top and along its length into the distance.
At its highest point, the water channel is 100 feet off the ground. The visible part of the great structure consists of 800 meters of granite blocks, 166 arches, 120 pillars. And not a bit of mortar or cement was used to hold it all together. Instead, the stones were precisely cut to transmit and bear the load in a perfect equilibrium.
Sadly, after surviving remarkably intact for almost 2,000 years, the aqueduct is now being seriously threatened by the pollution and traffic vibrations of the modern world.
Begun in the 1st century under Emperor Domitian and probably completed under Trajan in the early 2nd century, the aqueduct brought water to Segovia from the Frío River 10 miles (16 km) away.
Some of the arches in the center of the aqueduct were destroyed during the Muslim conquest of the 9th century, but they were restored in the 15th century by order of the Catholic kings.