This 16th-century aqueduct is located between the states of Mexico and Hidalgo. This heritage canal system encompasses a water catchment area, springs, canals, distribution tanks and arcaded aqueduct bridges. The site incorporates the highest single-level arcade ever built in an aqueduct.
The aqueduct of Padre Tembleque, named after the friar Francisco de Tembleque, was constructed between 1555 and 1572 and constitutes a hydraulic system located between the states of Mexico and Hidalgo in the Mexican Central Plateau.
The site incorporates the highest single-level arcade ever built in an aqueduct. Initiated by the Franciscan friar, Padre Tembleque, and built with support from the local indigenous communities, this hydraulic system is an example of the exchange of influences between the European tradition of Roman hydraulics and traditional Mesoamerican construction techniques, including the use of adobe.
The heritage canal system encompasses its water catchment area, springs, main and secondary canals, distribution tanks, arcaded aqueduct bridges, reservoirs and other auxiliary elements which extend over a maximum distance of 48.22 km (29.96 mi).
The aqueduct structures were built with supporting structures of earthen adobes in the Mesoamerican construction tradition, but at the same time referencing European models of water conduction developed during the Roman era.
The hydraulic system is an outstanding example of water conduction in the Americas and integrates along its 48 km (30 mi) extent, impressive architectural structures such as the main arcaded aqueduct at Tepeyahualco which reaches a total height of 39.65 m (130 ft), with its central arch of 33.84 m (111 ft) height.
As an ensemble of canals and auxiliary structures, the system is exceptionally well-preserved and one branch remains operational up until today.