Turkey, Valens Aqueduct

Turkey, Valens Aqueduct

The ancient two-tier aqueduct of Valens, about 800 meters long, crosses Ataturk Boulevard in the center of Istanbul. The construction of the aqueduct began under Emperor Constantine I, and was completed in 378 during the reign of Emperor Valens.

The building, whose length at that time was approximately 1,000 meters, was stretched between the third and fourth hills in Istanbul, now occupied by Istanbul University and the Fatih mosque. By aqueduct, drinking water from the springs of Alibeykei entered the Nympheum Maximum reservoir, which was located near the present-day Beyazid Square, in the place of one of the flower beds in the park of Istanbul University.

From this reservoir the imperial palace was supplied with water. Then the Turks also used the aqueduct of Valens. Through the pipes laid on the upper tier of the aqueduct, the water went to the Topkapi Palace.

At the beginning of the XVI century, close to the southern end of the aqueduct, the Shehzade Mosque was erected. After this, the aqueduct section with a length of 130 meters was no longer used. In 1912 there was a redevelopment of the city, so another section in the north-western part of the ancient aqueduct was cut off from the rest of the structure. Near the aqueduct of Valens you can see two ancient Byzantine churches, dated to the 8th-9th centuries and decorated with beautiful mosaics. Now they are converted into a mosque under the name of Calendander and Kilis.

If earlier the aqueduct stood at 26 meters, now it is 20 meters high: part of it is hidden under the ground. In the place where the aqueduct runs perpendicular to Ataturk Avenue, cars pass right under it.

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