Scaling the heights (2)

Campolide is not an area of Lisbon that sees many tourists.  On a mission to find Aqueduto das Águas Livres, as usual I walked, disregarding the guide book advice to catch a bus.  It didn’t look far on the map.  The locals I asked assured me it wasn’t far.  But finding it involved a lot of interesting uphill and roundabout, as you can see from the gallery.

I already had some idea of what I was looking for because we’d passed beneath it on the coach into Lisbon.  Finally, perseverance paid off.

But the garden scarcely revealed a clue of what I was about to experience.

Aqueduto das Águas Livres was a monumental undertaking, designed in the 18th century to bring water to the parched city of Lisbon.  The main course of the aqueduct covers 18km, but the whole canal network extends almost 58km.  Construction began in 1731, the centrepiece a total of 35 arches spanning the Alcantara valley, conceived by Custodio Vieira, the tallest being 65metres high.  Opened in 1748, while still incomplete, amazingly it withstood the devastating earthquake of 1755.

Fascinating, don’t you think?  I thought I’d already used the title Scaling the Heights before, and so it proved, when I managed to Ascend to considerable heights, early this year in lovely Florence.  I do enjoy a good view.



  1. You do find the most amazing places darling, this is packed with interest from the pink pavilion right to the end, and the aqueduto is a monumental work isn’t it? Is it possible to walk all along it?


    1. Hello sweetheart 🙂 🙂 The section over the valley is open to the public for a couple of euros and I think there’s walking beyond that, but we had to find our way ‘home’ again so we just went ‘there and back’. It’s an incredible thing, Gilly, and definitely an inteesting area to rummage around in. I suspect you can say that for most of Lisbon. Have a great weekend, hon!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the large shot immediately after ” it withstood the devastating earthquake of 1755.” You seem to be standing on the edge of that ledge, teetering on the brink of a precipice! I hope you were securely tethered.


  3. Although I’ve never encountered a cistern or aqueduct this old, Jo, I have a fascination with them. Our California Missions only date back to the 18th century, but I am always snooping around the remnants of the aqueducts and tracing how water was delivered. As you know, in our tremendously dry climate, water would have been highly valued in an age when you didn’t go to the tap! I really enjoyed your photos as well as the history you shared. I really relate to avoiding the “tour” and taking your own! You find so many surprises along the way!


  4. You always find more by walking instead of using the bus, and of course more chance to capture all the interesting finds with your camera to share with us. Thank you for sharing Jo, my very energetic friend. Fascinating what people can build and to make it strong enough to withstand an earthquake


    1. It was going to be one of my Monday walks, Pauline, but I have so many photos from my trip to the Algarve, I though I’d better get on with the job, before I’m back out there! The funny thing was, the bus stop was immediately below the aqueduct, but we didn’t spot it until we were up high. You’d think a structure this big would be easy to find, but not the way we did it. 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I do, Jude! 🙂 We started from the top end of Parque Eduardo and headed west, past the police station, then followed Campolide signs to the Amoreira shopping complex. It’s close to there but a bit tricky to find for something so huge. Or was that just us? 🙂 🙂


  5. But I’m sure you had a sneaking suspicion that the local advice on distance was a trifle optimistic! I always assume, in friendly countries, that the locals want me to be happy and will never tell me the true distance to anywhere, figuring that to keep it ‘Just a little bit further’ is the better option. Worst place of all for this is Thailand, where it really is bad form to make a visitor unhappy by telling him/her that somewhere is far away. I’m glad you went as the photographs are lovely.


    1. I’d heard and seen lots of photos of this, Mari, but I really wanted to see for myself. The clouds came over as we got there and I thought we were going to get a soaking, but all ended well. Aside from tired feet- the norm! 🙂 🙂


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