the Zaghouan Aqueduct

The Zaghouan aqueduct, the Roman one that brought water from Zaghouan to Carthage, remains an impressive work. Built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, between 120 and 131, this aqueduct has known many adventures.

Demolished by the Vandals in 409, it was rebuilt by Belisarius in 534. The work was again cut during the siege of Carthage by the Arabs in 698. It will then be restored by the Fatimids in the tenth century and then enlarged and consolidated by the Hafsids who built diversions in the thirteenth century.

You can still admire the high columns of this architectural masterpiece at the level of Bardo in Tunis but also in the region of Mohammedia and Oudna, going towards Zaghouan where the source of this thousand-year-old aqueduct is located.

It is near Mohammedia that the building is most spectacular, with high piles joined by arches. When it crosses Oued Meliane, the aqueduct reaches more than twenty meters in height.

By observing it closely, one can notice that the methods of construction of the aqueduct are very variable. Some are in brick, others in adobe or blockage. These variations provide information on the many restorations of this building which leads to the cisterns of the Malga in Carthage and remains one of the jewels of antiquity in Tunisia.
This impressive construction, from the time of Hadrian (120 AD), connected the Water Temple of Zaghouan to the city of Carthage over 123 km. From its construction, the catchment of the source was intended for the water supply of Carthage. It was therefore necessary to convey the water to the city. Thus, colossal works were undertaken.

So imagine:

– A total of 132 km of network, sometimes aerial (aqueduct), sometimes underground
– Two ramifications: one coming from Zaghouan, the other from Aïn Jouggar, further south
– Four springs captured: two in Zaghouan, two in Aïn Jouggar
– A flow estimated at 30,000m3/day produced in the 2nd century, reused in the 10th, 13th and 19th centuries. Some portions are still used today.

The Zaghouan aqueduct in pictures

L'Aqueduc de Zaghouan
L'Aqueduc de Zaghouan

The Zaghouan aqueduct in video

The Aqueduc of Zaghouan on the map

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