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Roman Eifel aqueduct near Mechernich, Germany

The Eifel Aqueduct was one of the longest aqueducts of the Roman Empire. It shows the great skill of the Roman engineers, whose level of technical achievement was lost in the Middle Ages and regained only in recent times.

The aqueduct, constructed in AD 80, carried water some 95 km (60 miles) from the hilly Eifel region of what is now Germany to the ancient city of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (present-day Cologne). If the auxiliary spurs to additional springs are included, the length was 130 km (80 miles). The construction was almost entirely below ground, and the flow of the water was produced entirely by gravity. A few bridges, including one up to 1,400 m (0.87 miles) in length, were needed to pass over valleys. Unlike some of the other famous Roman aqueducts, the Eifel aqueduct was specifically designed to minimize the above-ground portion to protect it from damage and freezing. More...