As the Roman cities were growing under the supervision of Rome it was difficult for residents to find clean drinking water. Sometimes the sources were drying up, sometimes rivers were infected. For this reason the Romans built aqueducts, providing consistently clean water to their cities.
The Roman Aqueduct was built to supply Nicopolis with water. It is one of the most important structures of the Roman period in northwestern Greece.
The main concern of the Romans was to ensure the constant flow of water in order to reach every part of Nicopolis. The Aqueduct covered a distance of 50km length, nearly the entire current region of Preveza. Through the aqueduct clean water was transferred from the springs of Agios Georgios - above the current city of Filippiada – up to Nicopolis.
Today, remains of the Roman Aqueduct are visible in the regions of Thesprotiko, Louros, Stefani-Oropos, Archangelos and Nicopolis.
According to the prevailing theory, the Aqueduct was built by Octavian Augustus (end of 1st cent. B.C. – beginning of 1st cent. A.D.). However, recent researchers assign its construction during Hadrian’s rule, in the 2nd cent. A.D. Ancient written sources mention that in the 4th cent. A.D. the Aqueduct had extended damages. Emperor Julian undertook the responsibility for its repair and reoperation, in the mid of 4th A.D. The Aqueduct ceased to operate in the mid 5th cent Α.D., when the city of Nicopolis declined and the Palaeo-Christian fortification walls were constructed.
The Roman Aqueduct consists of:
The main conduit (a built long channel into which the water passes). Usually the one side was carved in the rock and the other side was built with bricks (terracotta bricks). The roof was built with bricks and had the form of an arch.
When the conduit passed:
- along the slope of the hills, it had the form of a built channel.
- through the hills, it had the form of carved tunnel (channel carved in the rock).
- along the plains and in areas between hills, it rested upon bricklayer arcades.