Vila do Conde, Portugal
An Aqueduct Runs Through It.
Paris has Tour Eiffel; New York City the Statute of Liberty; San Francisco the Golden Gate Bridge and Moscow, Red Square. But Vila do Conde, has a sky stream, that has 999 arches, stretching 2.5m/4km, running from beyond the city’s edge to the sea’s shore.
While Microsoft has Windows 10, the Aqueduct named, Aqueducto Santa Clara, has Windows 999×2, 3D, for each of the original 999 archways remaining, each can be viewed from either direction and within those directions a multitude of angles, each creating its own unique view.
The Aqueduct looks of ancient origin, but was built over an 88 year period from 1626 to 1714. It was created to provide fresh water to the Santa Clara Convent; overlooking river and ocean. It stopped functioning in the early 1900 hundreds as an Aqueduct but has remained an integrating architectural feature within the City.
While the Aqueduct no longer functions for the transport of water, it interrelates and intertwines with life as it functions today, including sharing space with the Metro train route, where the trains provide a reflection of the arches of times past.
My interaction with the Aqueduct began at the secondary school at the Vila do Conde’s edge, through the towns homes and businesses, over the rails, and roads, through the cemetery to its terminus at the Convent. While the Aqueduct no longer transports life giving water to the Convent, it is surrounded by life and activity of residents, insects, flowers and transport.
The route I followed this day from School, to life, home, business, transport, cemetery, ending with house of God, is the route followed by this stream in the sky from birth to death and beyond.
Intermingling with the life cycle beneath the large arches are small flowers and insects sharing in the cycle of life.