Roman Aqueducts were nothing less than the lifeblood of the Roman Empire. These incredible feats of ancient engineering provided the water that sated the Empire’s thirst – not just water for drinking, but for public baths, sewerage, farming spectacles and games.
Without these remarkable structures, the cities of the Roman Empire could not have grown to the sizes they did, and the Roman world would have stagnated through lack of this crucial resource. The city of Rome itself boasted eleven aqueducts at the height of Empire, and the population soared beyond one million people – all dependent on the engineering expertise of those who designed and built the Roman aqueduct system.
Today, few things better demonstrate the engineering prowess of the Roman Empire than those Roman aqueducts that still survive today. From the famous Pont du Gard to the aqueducts of Caesarea and Segovia, these amazing historical sites are some of the most impressive Roman remains on the planet.
For those seeking to explore these ancient wonders, you will find a list of Roman aqueducts below. Click on each entry for more information, directions and practical tips for a visit.
Probably the most famous Roman aqueduct, and visually the most impressive, Pont du Gard forms part of the construction which once supplied Roman Nimes with water. Guided tours of this UNESCO site take visitors right into the heart of the monument.
An amazing sight in the heart of this Spanish city, the Segovia Aqueduct is one of the best preserved Roman aqueducts in existence. Weaving its way through the modern city, this ancient engineering feat looms over the urban sprawl at heights of almost 30 metres.
A spectacular site, rising to three levels in places, the Los Milagros Aqueduct in Merida supplied water to Roman Augusta Emerita. Though only small sections survive, this remains one of the best Roman aqueducts that can still be explored today.
One of the largest Roman aqueducts ever built, the Zaghouan Aqueduct supplied water to Roman Carthage. Built by Emperor Hadrian, it stretched for over 100 miles. Today large sections still survive, though you have to put a bit of effort in to view them.
One of several aqueducts which supplied the city of Rome, the remains of the Acqua Marcia can still be explored. Built in the first century BC, the years have taken their toll on this site and its hard to imagine its former grandeur.
The picturesque Roman town of Baelo Claudia lies in Southern Spain and contains the remains of this former Roman city. Among the ruins are scattered elements of the three aqueducts which once served this city, though they have seen considerable degradation over the years.
Giving another view of the Roman aqueduct system, these amazingly well preserved ancient storage tanks supplied water ancient Carthage and, though slightly off the beaten track, are well worth a visit.
The stunning Tarragona Aqueduct is the last remaining section of the ancient aqueduct which served the Roman city of Tarraco.
One of the more impressive surviving Roman aqueducts, a number of well-preserved sections of this ancient structure can still be seen outside the ruins of the Roman city of Caesarea.
One of the large aqueducts built to supply the ever-growing city of Rome, the Claudio Aqueduct was built by Emperor Claudius. A number of sections have survived in quite good condition, with the best probably found within the Appia Antica Regional Park.
Though not an aqueduct from ancient times, the Felice Aqueduct served medieval Rome and was inspired by its ancient counterparts.
Located just outside modern Lyon in France, the Gier Aqueduct once served its Roman counterpart, Lugdunum. Running alongside the modern highways, this is an impressive site to explore on your way to the city.
Though its origins are hazy, the Skopje Aqueduct is a large stone structure in Macedonia made up of at least fifty-five archways, which was possibly built by the Romans.