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Aqueduto das Aguas Livres, Lisbon
(4.1/5 based on 120+ reviews on the web)
The Águas Livres Aqueduct is a historic aqueduct in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. It is one of the most remarkable examples of 18th-century Portuguese engineering. The main course of the aqueduct covers 18 km, but the whole network of canals extends through nearly 58 km.The city of Lisbon has always suffered from the lack of drinking water, and King John V decided to build an aqueduct to bring water from sources in the parish of Caneças, in the modern municipality of Odivelas. The project was paid for by a special sales tax on beef, olive oil, wine, and other products.HistoryConstruction started in 1731 under the direction of Italian architect Antonio Canevari, replaced in 1732 by a group of Portuguese architects and engineers, including Manuel da Maia, Azevedo Fortes and José da Silva Pais. Between 1733 and 1736, the project was directed by Manuel da Maia, who in turn was replaced by Custódio Vieira, who would remain at the head of the project until around 1747.Custódio Vieira conceived the centerpiece of the aqueduct, the arches over the Alcantara valley, completed in 1744. A total of 35 arches cross the valley, covering 941 m. The tallest arches reach a height of 65 m, and many are pointed, reminiscent of arches in Gothic style. It is considered a masterpiece of engineering in the Baroque period.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Águas Livres Aqueduct is one of the most important engineering works, carried out in Portugal! The most visible part, over the Valley of Alcantara, is truly impressive. And to understand the past and its importance, there is no way to make their crossing and see with your own eyes!
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  • Wonderful showpiece of architecture and engineering. As the most astonishing part of this is now above motorways and train tracks, the best views are from the hills at either side. 
  • if you are excited about the ancient people - you have to see the Aqueduto das Aguas Livres! It makes a huge impression and it is hard to believe how old it is. if you're brave enough - take a walk th...  more »
Google
  • It's a gem, really - a monumental construction. Make sure you have a walk underneath for an outside view, there's a staircase on boths sides of the aqueduct going down (not all the way, but far enough) from the entrance.
  • Incredible architecture and a breathtaking feat of engineering. Be aware that walking along the top is only possible during the opening hours of the water museum near the south end.
  • Super cheap to visit, 3 Euros for a regular ticket, 1.50 Euros for a student ticket. Great views of the Alcantara valley and you are able to see all the way to the Ponte 25 de Abril as you walk along the southern side of the aqueduct. Water no longer runs through the aqueduct.
  • Closed on Mondays what a joke. Came here to closed doors. Wasted more than an hour. Unbelievable.
  • Aqueduct outside the city center with a great view. If you have seen everything in the city center I would recommend this otherwise you would be disappointed.