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THE AGIA NAPA AQUEDUCT

One of the most important monuments preserved within the boundaries of the Agia Napa municipality is the aqueduct, which for hundreds of years supplied with water the monastery and the whole region. Archaeological remains found west of the monastery, in the vicinity of the Agia Thekla chapel, but in particular at the locality of Filina, provide evidence for the presence of an earlier aqueduct dating to the Roman period.

The monument in its present state of preservation is a alteration of the original Roman  aqueduct, occurred during the Frankish period when the monastery was build. The source of the water is to be found somewhere on the hills between Agia Napa and Protaras. Up to the year 1974 the original visible route of the channel was marked by a barrel-shaped structure at the locality of Mana tou Nerou, known by traditionally as the House of the Greeks. From that point the aqueduct ran all the way to the monastery following the natural contours of the bedrock. The builders  exploited the principles of gravity in order to deliver water to the Monastery. At two locations, along its route, monolithic troughs incorporated in the channel were acting as settling chambers in order to collect heavy impurities. At the same time these intercepting chambers facilitated the smooth running of water at the start of each courve.

At a place where the aqueduct is intersected by a deep stream, a massive wall of dressed stones was built to support the channel, and an opening, shaped like a pointed arch, was left for the stream water to flow through. The height of the wall varies from one metre to 12.28m at the central point of the stream over the arch. From there the aqueduct is winding down towards the monastery, where at a deep point before the monastic buildings is supported on a wall. Then it runs parallel to the north outer wall of the cells and after passing under the Private House it enters the courtyard. The water is discharged through a head of a boar carved in marble, into a basin. From here it is conveyed under the courtyard and the southern buildings of the monastery, and finally stored in a huge reser¬voir built under a sycamore tree. Another pipe within the courtyard was diverting some water to a sculptured fountain right in the centre of the yard. A photograph taken in 1887/8, shows three women filling jars inside the monastery, a fact attesting that the aqueduct was in use at least at that time. Large scale conservation work was undertaken by the Department of Antiquities in 1996 with the financial support of the Municipality.

In September 2006 the project was incorporated in the European initiative  INTERREG IIIA Greece and Cyprus, a fact that led to the resumption of excavation and conservation works, which continued through 2007.  The excavations undertaken by the Department of Antiquities resulted  to the recovery of the remaining part of the aqueduct. The project is promoted through multimedia presentations and special editions, which are available at the offices of the Agia Napa municipality. The Project is co-financed with 50% by  the European Union Fund for Regional Development and 50% by national sources.


 
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