Acueducto de los Milagros

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Acueducto de los Milagros
(Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida)
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Cultural
Criteria iii, iv
Reference 664
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1993 (17th Session)

The Acueducto de los Milagros (English: Miraculous Aqueduct) is the ruins of a Roman aqueduct bridge, part of the aqueduct built to supply water to the Roman colony of Emerita Augusta, today Mérida, Spain.

Only a relatively small stretch of the aqueduct still stands, consisting of 38 arched pillars standing 25 metres (82 ft) high along a course of some 830 metres (2,720 ft). It is constructed from opus mixtum - granite ashlar blocks interspersed with red brick - utilising a double arcade arrangement. The structure originally brought water to the city from a reservoir called the Lago de Proserpina, fed by a stream called Las Pardillas, around 5 km (3.1 mi) to the north-west of Mérida.[1]

It is thought to have been constructed during the 1st century AD, with a second phase of building (or renovations) around 300 AD. In later centuries, the inhabitants of Mérida dubbed it the "Miraculous Aqueduct" for the awe that it evoked.[2]

The aqueduct was one of three built at Mérida, the other two being the 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) long Aqua Augusta, fed by the Cornalvo reservoir, and San Lázaro, fed by underground channels.[3] The aqueduct is preserved as part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[4]

In the immediate vicinity, a small Roman bridge called Puente de Albarregas runs parallel to the arcades.


  1. Roger Collins. Spain: An Oxford Archaeological Guide, p. 195, 199. Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-285300-7
  2. "Study for the determination of the pathologies in the constituent materials of the Milagros Aqueduct (Mérida)", J.M. Ávila Macías, M.I. Mota López, I. Rodríguez Maribona, in Heritage, Weathering and Conservation: Proceedings of the International Heritage, Weathering and Conservation Conference (HWC-2006), 21-24 June 2006, ed. Alvarez De Buergo. Taylor & Francis, 2006. ISBN 0-415-41272-2
  3. Leonard A. Curchin. Roman Spain: Conquest and Assimilation, p. 106. Routledge, 1991. ISBN 0-415-02365-3
  4. "Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida". UNESCO. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 19 March 2009.

See also

Media related to Acueducto de los Milagros at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 38°55′28″N 6°20′53″W / 38.92444°N 6.34806°W / 38.92444; -6.34806

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