The Eagle Aqueduct, Maro

Eagle Aqueduct, Maro, Spain

The Eagle Aqueduct (El Puente del Águila) was built in the 19th century as a means of supplying water to the San Joaquín sugar factory on the outskirts of the town of Nerja.

Damaged during the Spanish Civil War, but recently restored, the Eagle Aqueduct comprises four storeys of superimposed brick arcades with 37 arches.   Soaring high above the spire at the central point of the structure is a weather vane in the shape of a double-headed eagle, from which the aqueduct takes its name.  The structure is 40 metres tall and 90 metres wide, with it’s design being typical of the period of construction, when the Mudéjar-style was very popular.

Situated on the Barranco de la Coladilla and spanning a ravine close to the Nerja Caves and the village of Maro, the aqueduct is visible from the old N340 coast road linking Nerja with Maro.   With a backdrop of the Sierra Almijara, it´s easy to see why this is one of the most photographed images of the local area.   There is a lay-by at the side of the road where you can leave the car to get a good view or to take photographs of the monument.  The area surrounding the aqueduct is public land and free to visit.

Strangely, the facade visible from the viewpoint is the rear of the construction, as the aqueduct faces north.   The Eagle Aqueduct was NOT built by the Romans, as many believe, though the remains of a Roman bridge and the old Roman road to Malaca (Málaga), were unearthed nearby.

Despite the closure of the San Joaquín sugar mill many years ago, the aqueduct continues to be used for the irrigation of local farmland.

Related articles:

Sweet memories: San Joaquín sugar mill

La Viñuela reservoir: Water levels

Travel theme: Architecture

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41 thoughts on “The Eagle Aqueduct, Maro

  1. Oops I’m one of the people who thought it was Roman, have pointed it out to visitors as such… Really interesting piece and fab shot!

  2. Wow, what a structure. It’s odd to me to see the familiar name of San Joaquin used somewhere besides right here in the San Joaquin Valley. Thanks for posting this and reminding us of where our name came from. (pardon the preposition.) 🙂

    • Thanks Janaline.

      There’s a fantastic aqueduct in Segovia, Spain that I’m hoping to have a look at next Spring. I think it’s a bit older (and bigger) than this one, but I’ll keep you posted!

  3. I’ve seen this aqueduct before too when I was studying abroad in Malaga. Some fellow American students and I took the bus to Nerja to go to the beach and decided to visit the caves. We (unwisely) decided to walk from Nerja to the caves (it was a lot further than we realized!) and we got a view of the aqueduct from the road we were on. It was not painted red and gold at the time so it hadn’t yet been restored.

    • Hi Amelie

      It was covered in scaffolding and restored between 2009 and 2011. To be honest, I never saw the aqueduct before it was restored, but I have seen old photos.

      The Nerja caves are pretty cool, aren’t they? 🙂

  4. Pingback: Sweet memories: San Joaquín sugar mill | East of Málaga .... and more!

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