Köln (Germany)

Roman aqueducts: Cologne / Köln (Germany) Köln - Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (CCAA)
For the photo's, see below
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The Köln aqueduct is the longest one in western Europe and was built in two phases: in the first part of the first century the water need was supplied by local wells and spring and by a short aqueduct channel which was fed by springs in the headland west of Köln. At the end of the first century a large aqueduct was build fed by springs in the Eiffel, initially from Kallmuth, Urfey and Dreimühlen, and in the last phase from Grüne Pütz in the Urft valley.
One interesting aspect is that the Kallmuth, Urfey and Dreimühlen sources lie in Devonian slates which provide soft water that can dissolve the cement of the aqueduct. The Grüne Pütz source lies in one of the few limestone outcrops of the Eiffel, which was apparently purposely tapped to feed the aqueduct. As a result, calice was depositited on the walls of the aqueduct and there was no danger for dissolution of the cement of the structure itself. It is possible, of course, that the hard, calcite-bearing water of Grüne Pütz source was added to improve the taste of the water, but it seems more likely that the engineers were aware of the problem imposed by the water from the slates and decided to solve the problem by tapping the Grüne Pütz source. The aqueducts and its special features are well researched and documented by dr. Klaus Grewe.

Wilke D. Schram


Item Info
Length 95,4 km / in total 130 km
Cross-section 0,5 x 0,9 m
Volume 20.000 m3/day
Gradient 0,15 %
Period 1 / 2 c AD
  • settling basins
  • putei (shafts)
  • double channel on
    top op each other
  • over a water shed

Recommended literature : K. Grewe (1986): Atlas der römische Wasserleitung nach Köln
Recommended website : none
How to visit : Apart from the Atlas (see above) dr. K. Grewe pubished an very informative and detailed itinerary 'Der Römerkanal-Wanderweg, ein archäologischer Wanderführer' from the start of the aqueduct near Nettersheim to Köln (Cologne)

HOME More literature on more aqueducts Last modified: March 25, 2005 - Wilke D. Schram (w.d.schram@romanaqueducts.info)

1. Overview of the Köln area

2. Catchment area

3. Start of the aqueduct

4. Spring tank at Grüne Pütz

5. Drainage tank and junction

6. Klausbrunnen drawing

7. Klausbrunnen map

8. Aqueduct bridge

9. Drawing of the bridge

10. 'The treasure'

11. House of the channel master

12. Cross-section with sinter

13. Puteus (manhole)

15. Roman engineering

16. Double channel

17. Cleaning basin

18. Remains of the arcade

18. Cross-section with sinter

19. Cross-section

20. Re-use of sinter I

21. Re-use of sinter II

22. Re-use of sinter III