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Skopje Aqueduct

The Aqueduct is located in the village of Vizbegovo in the northwestern part of Skopje, about 2.5 km to the right of the Skopje-Kachanik road.

History and more…

The Aqueduct is located in the village of Vizbegovo in the northwestern part of Skopje, about 2.5 km to the right of the Skopje-Kachanik road. It is a part of a water-supply system with a length of about 10.0-10.5km from the piping at the Lavovac spring, between the villages Gluovo and Brazda, all the way to the Upper Town of Skopje Fortress-Kale.The Skopje Aqueduct is the only aqueduct in Macedonia, and one of three largest and well preserved in the former Yugoslavia along with Diocletianus Aqueduct near Split, Croatia and Bar Aqueduct in Montenegro.
There are several hypotheses about when its construction period took place:

  • during the reign of Rome (1st century) – according to this theory Aqueduct led the water to Legionary settlement Scupi
  • during the reign of Byzantine Empire (reign of Emperor Justinian I) – according to this theory, Aqueduct was shipping water to the new settlement Justiniana Prima.
  • during the reign of Ottoman Empire –  according to this theory Aqueduct was built in 16th century for a large number of Turkish public hamams.

The Aqueduct has 2 access ramparts, 53 pillars, 54 base vaults and 42 smaller vaults on the closed and open discharging openings above the pillars. The overall length of the Aqueduct is 387.98m, at an elevation of 279.46m of the southern rampart and 280.48m of the northern rampart, or a delevelling of 1,025m. 

Some repairs of the Aqueduct were made in the period between 1884 and 1888, which can be deducted from the dimensions of the used brick. From the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century all vaults with refracted or other deformed shape were renewed and made with bricks with a more recent size. At the end of the southern ramp, probably in 1905, a concrete fountain was built, which functioned until 1914. After the Second World War, in order to demonstrate mining of bridge vaults, three vaults were mined and demolished, while two pillars were partially damaged. The renewal had been made with refracted vaults, instead of semicircular ones, like all other original semicircular basic and secondary vaults.

Did You Know?

Fact #1

After Macedonia was liberated from the Turks’ sway in the early 20th century, it became a Republic of the Yugoslav Federation with Skopje as its capital.

Fact #2

The city had changed its name four times throughout the centuries, being called Skupi (13 year B.C), Justinijana Prima (5th, 6th century), Skopje (7th century) and Ushkup (14th century).

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