Pineda de Mar (Spain)

Roman aqueducts: Pineda de Mar (Spain) Pineda de Mar
For the photo's, see below
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Near Pineda de Mar, a small coastal town in Catalonia, lie the remains of a small but interesting roman aqueduct. The aqueduct supplied a roman large villa with water for irrigation at a site now occupied by a large ruined farm, "Can Roig" (the red house). Remains of more than 200 villas have been found along the Catalan coast. The villa of Can Roig was probably used from the first to the fifth centuriy AD.
The aqueduct had a length of 3.5 km and followed the east side of the Pineda river. It started at a small dam in the river in a narrow part or 'congost' of the valley, 200m upstream from a farm known as "Can Bufi" at 65 meters above sea level. It descended 40m to Can Roig which lies on a ridge overlooking the sea. At Can Roig, the aqueduct filled a large basin. The aqueduct crossed four small creeks on arches before reaching the villa.

There were 20 arches in Can Palau, 7 in Can Cua and fewer in the other creeks. All have spans of 3-4 metres, and the bridges are less than 10 m high. There are also locally walls up to 5 m high supporting the channel. The specus is 25-32 cm wide and about 20 cm high, and treated with opus signinum. The aqueduct is rather steep, but there was no option to obtain the water lower down along the river; shortly after the source at can Bufi, the water goes underground in the river alluvium.
The building period of the aqueduct is uncertain but may have been as early as the first century AD. The aqueduct stopped functioning at the end of the second or beginning of the third Century, based on pottery finds.

Few remains of the aqueduct are visible today because the specus is either hidden in dense forest, on private land, or damaged by erosion, building and road works. The only section that is now easily accessible are the remains of the small aqueduct bridge at Can Cua along the carretera d'Hortsavinyà, not far south of the motorway. The bridge is built of coarse masonry with a section of wall and arches resting on square or slightly trapezoidal pillars. Cees Passchier Figures: CanRoigFarm; the ruined farm of Can Roig at the end of the aqueduct Canroigarches2; Can Cua aqueduct bridge seen from the SW Canroigarches; Can Cua aqueduct bridge seen from the NE, looking downstream CanRoigArch: final broken arch of the Can Cua aqueduct bridge

Cees W. Passchier

Pineda de Mar - "Can Roig"

Item Info
Length 3,5 km
Cross-section 0,3 m x 0,2 m
Volume 1.400 m3/day
Fall 1,15 %
Period 1 c AD
  • bridges

Recommended literature :
  • Prat i Puig, F.: L'aqueducte romà de Pineda (1936)
  • Carta arqueologica de Espana - Barcelona (1945)
  • L'aqüeducto romà de Pineda de Mar (in: Espais vol 19 (1989)
Recommended website   : Pineda
How to visit                  : see above
HOME More literature on more aqueducts Last modified: June, 2007 (webmaster)

Ancient map with trace

GoogleEarth image


Can Cua 1

Can Cua 2

Broken arche