A year or so ago, I visited Mâe de Água (Mother of Water) building, one of the reservoirs of the Agoas Livres system of water distribution in the city of Lisboa, with a very distinguished american colleague. Mae de água is the only reservoir above ground, a beautiful block of stone and space made to be inhabited by water. From the upper terrace there is a wonderful view of Lisbon. The aqueduct finishes there defining a square called Jardim das amoreiras one of the most lovable places in Lisbon. The aqueduct and Mae d’ Agua were built before the mega earthquake in 1755 but resisted due to its good foundations and construction. All this I explained to my distinguished guest. To my surprise he mentioned the Romans as authors of the aqueduct… I noticed that I didn’t mentioned when , before the earthquake. So he simly assumed that such grandiose work, or any aqueduct for that matter, could only be made by the Romans… In a way he had a point. That kind of idea (water distribution, reservoirs to control the flux, aqueducts) was very Roman and impossible to such an idle people as Mark Twain long ago described the Portuguese.
the glory of living in lisboa – 10