Sebastian Aqueduct, or Aqueduto São Sebastião in Portuguese, is one of Coimbra’s most iconic landmarks and a must-see for any traveler to the city. This magnificent structure was built in 1732 by order of King John V of Portugal and stands as a testament to the engineering prowess that existed during this period.
The aqueduct spans over 600 meters long with an impressive height of 30 meters tall at its highest point, making it one of the largest structures in Coimbra. The striking design consists of two levels; an upper level made up of four arches and a lower level consisting of five arches which support the entire structure. Each arch has unique decorations carved into them such as rosettes, shells, crosses, and royal coats-of-arms which adds to the grandeur and beauty that makes this aqueduct so remarkable.
The purpose behind building St. Sebastian Aqueduct was to bring water from nearby rivers into Coimbra’s old town area where it would be used by residents for drinking, cooking, and cleaning purposes. Despite being constructed hundreds of years ago, this incredible feat still remains functional today, providing clean water for many locals living in Coimbra’s historic center despite modern advancements like plumbing systems becoming commonplace throughout Europe since then.
Today St Sebastian Aqueduct serves as both a reminder from days gone by but also acts as an important symbol representing pride within Coimbra’s community who have worked hard to preserve their beloved landmark even through times when resources were scarce or non-existent at all due to its age and condition needing repairs every now again time after time again over several centuries since it was first erected back in 1732.