Roman Aqueduct in Lesvos

The Roman Aqueduct in Moria, Lesvos Greece: Greece has several examples of Roman influence especially in construction. In the case of aqueducts, their quality level has not been equaled until thousands of years after the decline of the Roman Empire, to the point that this system and even some aqueducts themselves are used until our days in many areas for water supply. The impressive Roman Aqueduct rises to 600 meters to the west of Moria, a Lesvian village at 6 km from Mytilene Town.

It is one of the first big technical accomplishments in the architecture of the late Roman, as it dates approximately from the late II century or the early III century. Its objective was to provide water to Mytilene from the lake Megali Limni, at the Olympus mount, where the construction begins.

The aqueduct was also fed by other secondary springs, as it passed through some villages, like Larsos and Lambou Mylou. Therefore, its carrying capacity is calculated as 127,000 cubic meters a day, along with a distance of 22 km, a route that was entirely supported by gravity, as the construction has a kind of inclination along the course, that powers this force. In terms of construction work, the most used material was large blocks of grey marble taken from the island, and although this obviously makes it very strong and resistant, the aqueduct has received some maintenance during the last decades.

For example, there is a program which was started in 1995 with this purpose, which counted on the supervision of the Direction of Restoration of Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture. These types of measures are necessary to keep the impressive long arches row of this aqueduct in good conditions along time. The reminding section is 170 m long and consists of seventeen arches, also called Kamares laying on their column.

The distribution of the arches along the openings consists of three for every opening. The openings are delimited by columns, and each column has an abacus. However, in spite of being the most eye-catching component of the Roman Aqueduct, the arches are not the aqueduct itself, as they are used to hold the proper aqueducts, made of dips that are placed at the top of these constructions.

In addition, the Roman Aqueduct of Lesvos also counted on underground conduits and channels carved on the rocks. Some of these conduits, for example, were used for providing water to the public fountains destined to drink, as well as the popular Greek baths. Another important component of the Roman Aqueduct is the masonry, the walls, which main particularity consists of having been constructed by a system called emplekton.

Apparently, this system is made of two parallel walls of stone, with rubble filling in the middle, which also makes the aqueduct very solid and keeps it altogether. Although finding this colossal construction is said to be quite hard, usually the easiest way is to take the turn to Moria from Gera road to Mytilene, or to take the Eastern Coastal road and just follow the signs. The view of this imposing trace of ancient Roman culture pays off the difficulty of the road.

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