Aqueduto Da Amoreira, Elvas

#1 of 31 in Things to do in Elvas
Landmark · Tourist Spot
The Amoreira Aqueduct is a 16th-century aqueduct that spans the Portuguese municipality of Elvas, bringing water into the fortified seat.HistoryBy around 1498, the only fountain and source of potable water since the Moorish occupation had been the Poço de Alcalá, alongside the Porta do Bispo. As the well had already begun drying-up, and owing to the difficulty of gathering water from the wells surrounding the town, King D. Manuel authorized a tax (the Real de Água) to fix the Poço de Alcalá. Yet, the attempts did not meet with success, and an idea developed to collect water from Amoreira, some 8km away. Consequently, in 1529 the first works to build the aqueduct were begun. In 1537, then King John III intervened by sending architect Francisco de Arruda to Elvas, to make changes to the primitive plan. Owing to the lack of funds for such a project, the King then authorized the diversion of monies from fines and sales associated with the sale of municipal lands for the project, including some loans from the children's orphanages in Elves and Estremoz.These early problems with the aqueduct's construction, were portents of future problems. Sometime during 1533, the work done by Lourenço Domingues (the receiver for the public works in Elvas, Campo Maior and Olivença) must have been unsatisfactory, for he was discharged on 9 September. Following various diversions of water, the post of Visitador do Cano (Seer of Pipe) was established in 1542. A year later, Diogo Mendes was responsible for the maintenance of the aqueduct, receiving 6000 reais, paid by the town. But, by 1547, the construction was suspended due to a lack of funds, but were re-initiated in 1571. But, on 20 March 1558, Queen D. Catherine recommended that the town work on the aqueduct. King D. Sebastian later authorized the application of a levy on the residents of Elvas, considered equivalent to each's income. Later that year, on 23 August, Sebastian personally inspected the aqueduct and finding the works incomplete, he ordered the Senate (on 29 May 1573) to correct the remaining sections, along with Afonso Álvares. The King's successor would have similar problems with this project; in 1579, Cardinal King Henrique solicited the bishops of Elvas to participate monetarily in the aqueduct's construction.
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  • An immense structure that had a very chequered history taking over 100 years to successfully construct this aqueduct to bring water to the town finally completed in 1620. So it is over 500 years ago.....  more »
  • Amazing 400 year old aqueduct, Spectacular sight that cannot be missed, literally. Parking at the base of the tallest part makes it easy to stop and admire this spectacular construction  more »
  • Wow! 4 stories high and many kilometers stretch of this 16th century Aqueduct is a sight to see. Only 8 km from the Spanish border.
  • Well preserved quite impressive

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