The aqueduct of Eupalinos supplied water to the ancient capital of Samos that was today's Pythagoreio. While according to Herodotus it was a wonder of engineering.
What is the Eupaline Tunnel?
The Eupaline Tunnel was designed by the famous engineer Eupalinos, who was originating from Megara, Attica, while the construction project was completed with the work of prisoners from Lesvos. It is located at a distance of 2 km from Pythagorion and is essentially a large aqueduct that brings water from the spring Agiades, the so-called "Great spring" according to Herodotus.
The aqueduct was built around 550 BC. during the ruling of the tyrant Polycrates and it was completed after the work of 10 years.
What are the dimensions of the Eupalinos Tunnel on Samos island?
It has a length of 1036 meters and dimensions of 1.80x1.80. A total of 7000 cubic meters of natural rock were removed for the construction of the tunnel. The tunnel crosses the entire Mount Kastro 189 meters below the top of the mountain and 55 meters above sea level. The tunnel has a gradient of 0.6% to facilitate the natural flow of water that was flowing through ceramic pipes at the bottom of the tunnel.
The Eupaline Tunnel is considered one of the greatest works of the entire ancient world and is a marvel of engineering science. What is so remarkable about the tunnel is that the work started at the same time on both sides and the workers met almost in the middle of the distance with a minimal deviation.Herodotus described the tunnel as "amphistomon" (meaning that it has two entrances), while it is estimated that the aqueduct covered the needs of the ancient city for 1100 years. Eventually, the aqueduct was abandoned since, despite the cleaning efforts, the clay pipes were filled with salts due to the high concentration of calcium in the water of the spring.
Visiting the Eupaline Tunnel
Today the tunnel is illuminated and visitable, while it is a unique attraction for all visitors to the island. There are three different tours that differ depending on the distance of the route that one covers inside the tunnel. All of them though give the opportunity to admire one of the greatest technical achievements of antiquity.