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Monuments
Medieval Aqueduct of Kavala
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The Medieval Aqueduct or "Kamares" was built in the early 16th century AD and it is the most important historical monument of the city of Kavala. It represents the final  and most impressive section of an extensive water system that was designed to supply water to the peninsula of Panagia.

 

History

The Medieval Aqueduct was built between 1520-1530 in order to cover the water needs of the increasing population as a result of the urban growth. The whole project was implemented by Ibrahim Pasha, the first vizier of Süleyman the second. It is speculated that in the same geographical area it was located  a Roman or Middle Byzantine aqueduct that was abandoned after the destruction of the city in 1391. The Medieval Aqueduct coincided with the establishment of a new city called Kavala.

Result of the project was the water transportation in public reservoirs, fountains and baths of the developing city. The aqueduct contributed significantly in the growth and viability of the town until the early 20th century.

The first problems were identified in the late 19th century. The new Turkish suburbs at the East increased the urban population and therefore the water needs. In 1913 the authorities of the Bulgarian government turned the "path" of water in road for pedestrians, carriages and animals.  This conversion caused serious problems and damages to the underlying pipe. The next decade, the repatriated Greeks from Asia Minor  increased significantly the water demands. New and more effective water supply projects ultimately set the Medieval Aqueduct into disuse in the mid 20th century. The aqueduct operated for more than 4 centuries.

The last decades,  the unregulated and uncontrolled urbanization of the city of Kavala destroyed a large part of the aqueduct.

 

Architecture

The Medieval Aqueduct of Kavala is a technological achievement and it represents a unique infrastructure project of the Ottoman period. It is a double arch structure  that bridges the water-rich northern hills with the arid peninsula of Panagia. Specifically, the water was transported to the city through a terrestrial pipeline 6.5 kilometers long, which started from Tria Karagatsia hill at an altitude of 400 meters. The aqueduct engineers exploited the knowledge and the construction methods and tecnhniques of The Romans in order to carry out this project. This influence appears in several parts of the project (waterbridges, fountains with internal reservoirs etc.)

"Kamares" is the final part of the aqueduct. Its length is estimated at 280 meters and the maximum height in the center exceeds 25 meters. It consists of 60 arches of various sizes. The materials that were used for the construction are bricks and granite blocks of the broader area. The architectural aspect of the project is presented through a canvas of arches in various sizes composed in 2 or 3 levels. The pipeline was encased in the upper part of the structure. Distinctive feature of the monument is the diversity of arcs due to maintenance and operation over time. The most well-known maintenance work carried out in 1818 in the southern part, as indicated by relative inscription.

The last years, the 12th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities has carried out several project in order to enhance and promote the Medieval Aqueduct.



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