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Almuñécar Aqueducts, (Almunecar)

Summary
How to get there - Photos

An Aqueduct is a water bearing conduit that carries fresh water from remote sources or rivers to other areas which do not have a water supply adequate for their populations or their industrial activities.

Though they were first created in the near East and India, aqueducts are generally associated with the Roman Empire during which time many were constructed both in Rome itself and in other cities across the Roman Empire which covered the whole of present day Europe, including the British Isles, and much of the near East.

Torrecuevas Aqueduct

Around 49 BC the Romans named an area in the southern coast of what is now Spain: Firmium Julian Sexi. Within this area they developed further a large fish salting and curing industry which had been in existence for several centuries.

The water requirements for this process were considerable so the Roman engineers built five aqueducts, which still exist, to bring water from the valleys of the Rio Seco and Rio Verde. All five aqueducts are still standing and four of them are still used for irrigation. Archeological excavations in the 1950's and 1980's uncovered the remains of these structures in the area of Almunecar which today has a botanic garden called Majuelo Park.

In the Rio Seco, the aqueduct can be found by following the riverbed as far inland as 700 meters which will allow the visitor a view of the most impressive sections of the arches of which it is composed, before the aqueduct disappears into private or residential property.

The Rio Verde aqueduct was constructed near Jete and then its watercourse was directed downstream into underground channels and into Sexi to collection points where it could be pumped out and used as drinking water, in the roman Baths and in the fish curing factories of the period.

The La Carrera aqueduct was unknown until recent times because it had disappeared. It only came to light when excavations uncovered it near the town center.

How to visit the Aqueducts

To visit the aqueducts you will need a car. The best place to start is the farthest point out of town where the system ends or begins at the Virgen Del Aqua.

Virgen del Agua

You will find the Virgen del Agua on the road out of town towards Jete. After passing under the new highway bridge and continuing another 1km, keep a look out on your left side. You will see the small place of worship across the dry river bed and built into the lower wall. There is a small but rugged turnoff on the left side of the road just past the actual spot. If the river is dry, you can drive or walk down to get a closer look. To this day you will still see candles lit and flowers left for the Virgen of the water as a blessing for her offerings.

Virgen del Agua

Río Seco Aqueducts

There are three actual structures that make up the section in the Rio Seco river valley, they are named I, II and III. Number III is the most impressive comprised of multiple levels of arches. Unfortunetly, these sections are the hardest to get close to b/c they currently reside on private land. The best way to see these is from a distance. You can drive to the Rio Seco river bed from the San Sebastian area of Almunecar (industrial area behind almunecar) and cross over the river. Once on the other side you will need to make your way up the mountain, through another residential area, to get a good look.

However, if you are feeling adventurous you can also park and walk up to the structures. The best way to do this is by driving into the San Sebastian going out of town. After passing the road going down towards the school on the left continue up the hill keeping an eye out for a dirt road on the left side of the street. Park somewhere on this road and get out and follow the dirt path up the hill and around until you see the aqueduct in front of you. From there you will have to make your way through the valley to the other sections which extend beyond number III towards Jete.

Río Seco III

Torrecuevas Aqueduct

The Torrecuevas Aqueduct can be found just outside of town on the road to Jete. It is very easy to find because of its proximity to town. Over the years the area has been built up around it, taking away slightly from its beauty but not from its impressiveness. It is the longest remaining aqueduct in the area with a length of 130 meters and boasting 17 working arches. You will find this section about 3 km out of town on the right side of the street before you reach the bridge for the new highway.

La Carrera Aqueduct and Roman Baths

The remenants found from the Carrera section of the old water system and the roman baths are right in the middle of town. These are located on the opposite side of Carbonell (large hardware store) and across from the fountain. From the highway, turn into Almunecar at the McDonalds exit, continue to the end of the street and take a right. The aqueduct will be on your right side before you get to the round about with the fountain.


Photos

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