On May 12 1731, the construction of the "Aqueduto das Águas Livres" (Free Waters Aqueduct) was authorized by a royal warrant granted by D.João V. The construction work began in August 1732 and in 1748 the Aqueduct starts functioning, supplying water to the city of Lisbon. Its length, comprehending all its ramifications, is 58 135 metres
Between the sources of "Águas Livres" ( in the area of Belas-Carenque and Caneças) and "Mãe de Água" in "Amoreiras" ( Lisbon ), the Aqueduct is 18,5 km long, reaching 48 km if we include all its ramifications. And if we add the 12 km long distributing pipes to the several fountains, we reach a total length of 60 km!
The channels to convey the water run along underground or aerial channels, ventilated by 137 skylights, on a total of 127 arches.
The most spectacular part, for its majesty, is the range of arches in "Alcântara", is 941 meters long, consisting of 35 arches, 14 of them ogival and the remaining complete. The biggest one is 32 meters large, 65 meters high, and it is the biggest arch of stone ever built in the whole world. Today, "Av. Calouste Gulbenkian"can be seen underneath. Removed from the supplying system in 1967, the aqueduct is not only one of the ex-libris of Lisbon but also one of the most remarkable works of hydrological engineering ever built.
Even today the majesty of this work astonishes us, due to its length and also because of the techniques and materials used, considering the time of its construction (the eighteenth century ).
Above the Aqueduct, on both sides, we can find the sidewalk. It allowed the passage of people and animals between the hills of "Amoreiras" (Campolide) and "Monsanto" (Serafina). This passage was locked up to the public in 1852, since it was not safe, especially at night, due to presence of several thieves. Being the most recalled, "Diogo Alves" who stoled and pushed down the aqueduct his victims. He killed many pople, 4 of them from the same family. Identified and hanged up in 1841. The "Diogo Alves" stone is right over the biggest arch.
It's not necessary to catch this cache but, if you want, you can visit the aqueduct. Check out the season and timetable near the entrance.
You can opt for one off the following choices;
1 - Start near the entrance off the aqueduct in "Calçada da Quintinha" (waypoint aq-entrc), park your car in the parking nearby. Visit the aqueduct (if you wish) and/or take some photos from the EPAL gate. Walk down in direction of waypoint aq-park by the "Rua 1", at the left side of the aqueduct or the "Rua 2" at oposite side of it, while you observe the aqueduct and the neighbourhood from the portuguese colonial era. Other approach is walking down by one of these streets and return back to the car (after the hunt, of course) by the other. This way you'll have the oportunity to take some artistic photos. Continue with instructions in 2.
2 - Start at the waypoint aq-park in "Rua 12". Walk down in direction to the cache, following the tracklog. In the final part you're in a little wood, surrounded by the street above. If you walk down that street, you can see in the natural wall supporting the green zone, rocks that are vestiges of volcanic activity in the area (see my cache "Lisbons' Monsanto - A Paleovolcano?" ). However, the cache is in the wall (be carefull, don't fall). In the waypoint aq-view you can rest, while you watch the aqueduct in all it's majesty.
Finally, how do you reach the area of "Calçada da Quintinha or "Rua1" or "Rua 2" or "Rua 12"? You can get some help in this fine web site, Maps&Directions, because GPS receivers don't know traffic signs.
Here's other examples (light version but knows all the street's names) for whom cames from Praça Marques do Pombal (Rotunda): To Rua 12 and to Calçada da Quintinha.
DONT SEARCH FOR THIS CACHE AT NIGHT. IT'S SAFER DURING THE DAY.
Logbook, pencil, sharpener and a 2,5 PTE coin
Don't forget: "Cache in, trash out"