Valens Aqueduct

OVERVIEW

Valens Aqueduct

An aqueduct is a structure for constant supply of water into a city and its people. They consist of underground water channels, water pipes, tunnels, and aqueduct bridges. Valens Aqueduct - approximately 920 meters long - is one of the aqueduct bridges of Valens Aqueduct System bringing water from Thrace to Constantinople (Byzantine Istanbul), approximately 240 kilometers far from Istanbul.

In 330 CE, Constantine I (Constantine the Great) declared Constantinople as the new capital of the Roman Empire. Subsequently, the city’s population increased dramatically and the main need of the inhabitants was water. Therefore, the construction of the Valens Aqueduct started in 345 CE during the reign of Constantius II (337 - 361 CE). However, the construction of the aqueduct finished and started to function in 373 CE, during the reign of Valens I (364 - 378). This is the reason that the aqueduct is called Valens Aqueduct.

With the help of the Valens Aqueduct, clean water was provided to the baths and cisterns of Constantinople including the famous Underground Cistern (also called Sunken Palace). The aqueduct system was so important that the besiegers of Constantinople throughout its history would cut or destroy the Aqueduct of Valens first. 

Amazing Facts about Valens Aqueduct

  • Standing inside the historical peninsula of Istanbul, Valens Aqueduct is one of the aqueduct bridges of Valens Aqueduct System bringing water to Constantinople from Thrace.
  • Valens Aqueduct is one of the largest structures of Istanbul; it is 920 meters long and 30 meters high.
  • It took 28 years to build the Valens Aqueduct System and latest research on the aqueduct has suggested that - with its branches - it was 336 km long, nearly three times longer than the known length of any Roman water supply.
  • Today, Atatürk Boulevard - built in the 1950s - passes under its arches.
  • Valens Aqueduct repaired and restored many times both in Byzantine and Ottoman periods, and it functioned almost 1400 years until the 18th century.

How to get to the Valens Aqueduct

The easiest way to get there is to take M2 Metro and get off at Vezneciler metro station. Valens Aqueduct is only five minutes walk to the west from Vezneciler metro station.

What else is nearby Valens Aqueduct?

Located in the center of historical peninsula of Istanbul, Valens Aqueduct is also close to important landmarks of Istanbul including Pantokrator Monastery (Zeyrek Mosque), Şehzade Mosque, Vefa Kilise Mosque, and Kalenderhane Mosque.
DISTRICT
Sarachane
RECOMMENDED TOURS

Make sure to visit Vefa Boza Shop, approx. ten minutes walking distance from the aqueduct, to taste the delicious and traditional boza drink.

Valens Aqueduct - approximately 920 meters long - is one of the aqueduct bridges of Valens Aqueduct System bringing water from Thrace to Constantinople (Byzantine Istanbul).