Located in a secluded river valley between the cities of Hazmieh and Mkalles are the remains of a Roman aqueduct that only a few know about. The aqueduct originally crossed the Beirut River and was used to convey water across the valley along a series of arches, only a number of which remain on the sides of the river. .

The aqueduct was built in 273 AD, under the Roman emperor Aurelius and was used as a way station for the Roman military in Lebanon. Aqueducts were essential structures in Roman urbanization and several were built around the rivers of Lebanon to supply cities with running water. Little is known about the exact methods for building these aqueducts and the hydraulics behind them. We can best understand these Roman aqueducts by reflecting on the aqueducts of Ancient Rome, the principles of which were employed throughout the empire. .

Location:.

A single gravel road traverses the valley and passes through one of the remaining arches on the left bank of the river in Hazmieh. Further down the road is a bridge built on a weir that serves as a connection between the two mountains. The Beirut River flows heavily through the valley underneath the aqueduct. Citrus orchids, olive trees and other greenery cover the slopes of the mountains and even through the stones of the ancient arches grow traces of vegetation. .

Remaining Arches:.

Originally, the aqueduct was raised on three tiers or rows of arches that extended 240 meters across the river and rose to a height of 50 meters. A massive earthquake in 551 AD destroyed most of the aqueduct and the top tier is now completely gone. Only sections of the original aqueduct remain on the banks of the river. On the left bank, there are three middle-level arches and one water-level arch whereas on the right there remain eight middle-level arches. The arches have recently been restored and the site is well preserved.

Arches are among the most common Roman building element and are probably the best-known symbols of Roman times.