Historical aqueduct to be restored.jpg

Historical aqueduct to be restored


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LISBON’S 260 YEAR old aqueduct is going to be restored following the signing of a protocol signed on Tuesday between Lisbon’s water company EPAL and Portugal’s Institute for the management of archaeological and architectural heritage (IGESPAR).

This restoration of the Aqueduto das Águas Livres, the aqueduct of free waters, is the first of several projects to be carried out. The protocol also includes studies and projects of the monuments relating to historical architectural structures that supply water to Lisbon and its surrounding areas.

Urgent repairs

The partnership between EPAL and IGESPAR will begin on the aqueduct in Lisbon, where problem areas have already been identified which will soon be restored.

Elísio Summavielle, the director of IGESPAR, said that the partnership between the institute and EPAL is very important for the preservation of a future resource.

The initial cost of the work, which will take place in the Vale de Alcântara, near Lisbon, has been quoted as costing 300,000 euros, including urgent repairs.

Joaquim Serranito, director of projects and construction at EPAL, said that this figure could reach around 10 million euros during the second phase of restoration works on the aqueduct.

EPAL conducted a photographic survey of the monument, identifying three main problems, namely biological colonisation and vegetation, fissures and fractures in the stone work allowing water to leak and stones that are out of place.

“The aqueduct is not at risk of collapsing,” said the President of EPAL, João Fidalgo. “Our Company is sensitive to the conservation and maintenance of our heritage.”

The President of EPAL also said that the work to be carried out on the monument is complicated and will require a lot of engineering expertise but that after the restoration is completed it will all have been worth it.

The aqueduct’s construction started in 1732 by order of king João V and was completed in 1748 to supply water to the city of Lisbon, which it did until 1967.

The cost was paid for with an extra tax imposed on the prices of meat, wine, olive oil and other foods.

The monumental arcade in Lisbon is 941 metres long and 70 metres high, with 35 arches and incorporates 75,000 limestone blocks.

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