Roman aqueducts: Sevilla (Spain)
Sevilla - HISPALIS
"Los caños de Carmona"
In the town of Sevilla there are three places where one can see the remains of a 2000 year old roman aqueduct,
"Los caños de Carmona" (the pipes of Carmona).
- Most distant from the city center are a few foundation remnants of the aqueduct arches in the Calle Cigüeña in the suburb of Los Pajaritos.
- The second part is almost at the beginning of the Calle / Avenida Luis Montoto, formerly known as the East street
and later as the Calzada de los Caños de Carmona (Carmona is the name of a town 30 km E of Sevilla).
It was this roman road that connected the Puerta (Gate) de Carmona in Sevilla with the town of Cordoba.
The Caños de Carmona followed almost the same route and supplied Sevilla daily with 5000 m3 potable water of high quality.
This piece in the Calle / Avenida de Louis Montoto is in bad condition; that is why it is banded with metal bindings (see pictures).
- During many years the third stretch was covered by a railroad bridge constructed in the beginning of the 20th c serving
the railway connection from Madrid to Cadiz and crossing the important Avenida de Louis Montoto. The successive town developments
made another solution necessary so in ... the bridge was dismantled and that brought the remains of the 'Caños' to new light.
At an unknown date a culvert called Alcantarilla de las Madejas was placed here to prevent damage by the local stream called Tagarete (see pictures).
Among authors there is no discussion about the roman origin, but the exact dating is difficult because of lack of documentary evidence.
In recent publications about the city of Sevilla the aqueduct was even ignored. This in sharp contrast to the ancient authors
like Luis de Peraza (1530), Jerónime Münzer (1495) - he reported 390 arches of the aqueduct - Alonso de Morgado (1587),
Rodrigo Caro (1634), don Antonio Ponz (1786), Fernando de Valderrama / Fermin Arana de Valflora (1789), don Ortiz de Zúñiga (1795),
Justino Matute y Gaviria (1887) and Julio González (1951).
Summarizing what was reported by these authors:
- Almost all agree upon the roman origin of the aqueduct, possibly built in the time the town got its walls,
between 68 and 65 BCE when Julius Caesar conquered Spain.
- The water sources were near a place now known as Los Cercadillos de la Huerta de Santa Lucía, in an area called Gandul
at the other (E) side of the village of Alcalá de Guadaira, as described by Pereza.
- The channel was almost 17,5 km long from its sources to the distribution point at the other side of the wall annex
to the Puerta de Carmona, mostly buried but partly in the open air with a winding course and the water propelled some floor mills
which number differs from author to author.
- When the water arrived at Torreblanca, 4 km from the Puerta de Carmona, its channel rose on arches. That is why this place
was called Torreblanca de los Caños, a toponime which still exists.
- The number of arches reported by ancient authors differs from 390 (Münzer) to 410 (Ponz) which can be explained by
the alterations in the 14th c by building 103 new arches as reported by Julio Gonzalez.
- During the caliphate of Abu Yacub Yusuf (12th c) important maintenance work was done and side channels were made
to orchards actually known as 'La cruz del Campo' (Avenida de la Cruz del Campo and the Calle Louis Montoto) at that time a zone
of horticulture and gardens, called 'Las Nueve Suertes' (Peraza), where experiments took place to improve agricultural techniques
later applied elsewhere in the countryside.
- During the last years of the 13th c Don Diego de Mer carried out new repairs on the channel and the arches which later (1482)
led to the building of a small temple called "La Cruz del Campo" which gave the name to this area (Avenida de la Cruz del Campo and the Calle Louis Montoto).
- Also in those days the water arrived at the wall, close to the Puerta de Carmona and was poured out into a basin.
At the other side of the wall it was distributed to 20 public fountains, the palace of the kings Alcazar, some convents and
to the houses of important families in Sevilla.
- To conclude we can add that in the 19th c the aqueduct was still in use and was demolished definitely in 1912,
apart from the three above mentioned remnants.
Summarising: the present remains seems to be partly mediaevel and partly 'modern' but they correspondent with the vestiges of a roman aqueduct
that probable followed the same trace.
Wilke D. Schram
Partly translated from an article of 'Ludovico' on the website of www.Celtiberia.net (only in Spanish)
Sevilla - HISPALIS
|| m x m
|Recommended literature :
||C.Fernandez Casado: Acueductos Romanos en Espana [casado1972]
|Recommended websites (all in Spanish) :
|How to visit :
||Most close to the city center: at the crossing of the Calle Juan Antonio Cavestany and the Avenida de Luis Montoto.|
The most distant site is in the Calle Ciguena (Los Pajaritos)