Água da Prata Aqueduct

Silver Water Aqueduct - Sixteenth Century Aqueduct

Image of Água da Prata Aqueduct
Inaugurated on March 28, 1537, the Água da Prata Aqueduct of Évora is one of the most remarkable works done in the city in the first half of the 16th century. It was built in scarcely six years, under the direction of the regal architect Francisco de Arruda, and extends for about 18 km, to the Herdade do Divor, where it will supply.
Most probably overlapped with the ancient Roman aqueduct, the civil character of the building was ennobled by some sections of undeniable artistic and urban impact. For example, next to the San Francisco Church, there existed until 1873 the Real Closure of the Aqueduct, a Renaissance portico composed of "an octagonal turret decorated by half Tuscan columns and framed niches, of scallops in the arches of half a point, having a body superior with lantern of openings of the same style, wrapped at the base by some piriformes "(ESPANCA, 1966). Also in the Giraldo Square, where the aqueduct ended, there was a fountain "adorned with marble lions" and associated with an arch of Roman triumph, both later sacrificed during the Henriquina remodeling of the main square of the city and the source replaced by the current source of the Giraldo Square (ESPANCA, 1993, p.66).
In Rua Nova de Santiago, precisely at the place where the old fence was cut, Francisco de Arruda built a Renaissance Water Box, with a quadrangular plan and currently with two visible sides, with 12 Tuscan columns and a large entablature, a work that characterizes the greatest commitment artistic in some areas of the aqueduct and that contrasts drastically with other parts of the route in which the utilitarianism of construction overlapped with possible more erudite intentions.
Over the centuries the Água da Prata Aqueduct has undergone some changes between additions and demolitions. Of greater visibility were the several fountains and fountains that were implanted along the city route. In addition to the emblematic termination in Giraldo Square next to the ancient Roman arch, it is worth highlighting the Chão Covas Fountain, a work dating from 1701. From the period of urban renewal sponsored by Cardinal D. Henrique, there is also the Portas de Moura Fountain. Still in the 16th century, two other fountains were built, respectively in the Largo da Porta Nova, a work that shows clear similarities to the drawings of Afonso Álvares (architect who built the sources of Giraldo Square and Portas de Moura), and in the former Rossio de São Brás, a campaign that dates from the time of the Philippines and which also included the construction of a wide avenue.
Partially restored in the 17th century, as a consequence of the Restoration wars, the aqueduct was the object of successive improvements during the 19th and 20th centuries. However, the initial general physiognomy did not change.​
​​
Spotlight:
Alto de São Bento and crossing part of the city of Évora, Rua do Cano, part of Rua do Salvador, etc.

Additional Contents