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Eupalinos tunnel

On the island of Samos (Greece) to visit a very unusual attraction, which in ancient times was even called a wonder of the world, malinow of the tunnel. Eupalinos tunnel (Samian aqueduct) is an underground water pipe length of about one kilometre, built on the Greek island of Samos in the sixth century BC. The culvert was built by the ancient Greek engineer Eupalinus of Megara on the orders of the Samos despot Polycrates. During the reign of Polycrates, the island of Samos became a center of Maritime piracy. Fearing an attack on the island and a siege of the main city (Pythagoras), the tyrant of Samos ordered a secret water pipe to be laid under the mountain to supply the city with fresh water from a remote source.

Samian aqueduct (tunnel of Eupalinos)
The water supply system was designed as two shafts (positions 1 and 2 in the diagram) connected by a special tunnel (position 3 in the diagram). At the bottom of the small shaft (position 2 in the diagram), water flowed from the spring to the city. The upper large shaft (position 1 in the diagram) was intended for the passage of maintenance personnel.

Samian aqueduct
The scheme of the aqueduct

Scheme Samian aqueduct
Part of the tunnel was laid with narrower shafts and has a gable roof of stone slabs to avoid collapse.

The ancient tunnel was laid by the method of counter-sinking-simultaneously from two ends, the same method is used in our days to pave the subway tunnels. Today, however, to accurately combine the two parts of the tunnel at one point, using all sorts of modern computer technology. Evalin same in the design of the samian tunnel only used well known principles of geometry, the construction took several centuries before these principles were formulated by Euclid. Additionally, when the tunnel Malin used a method that allowed to compensate for measurement errors: at some distance from the theoretical point of meeting of two parts of the tunnel direction tunnel was changed by a small angle in opposite directions. In this way, the two tunnels would intersect, even if initially they both went far apart and parallel.

Eupalinos tunnel
Horizontal tunnel scheme
Similarly, the problem of possible vertical deflection was solved. The guarantee of meeting the two parts of the tunnel was achieved by increasing the height of both parts. In the first tunnel the floor remained level but the ceiling rose, and in the second tunnel the ceiling remained the same but the floor fell.

Vertical diagram of the tunnel
Often tourists are told that the calculations in the construction of the Samos tunnel were so accurate that the two parts of the tunnel came together with an error of no more than 10 centimeters. However, studies of the tunnel, conducted in the late XIX century, showed that the error was about 6 meters in the horizontal plane and about 1 meter vertically. This error can be called insignificant, given the kilometer length of the tunnel and the design only with the help of geometric principles.

Modern scientists, exploring the tunnel, find clear signs of high-level engineering planning and note the quality of excavation. It is not surprising that such a colossal structure, built before our era, contemporaries began to call the wonder of the world.

Here’s how the famous Herodotus describes in his writings of Eupalinos tunnel:

“I stopped a few more on samian Affairs because the samians erected on the island, the three largest buildings in the whole of Hellas. First, they had cut a tunnel through the hundred-and-fifty-foot-high mountain that began at her foot, with exits on either side. The tunnel is seven stages long and eight feet high and wide. Under this tunnel, along its entire length, they dug a canal twenty cubits deep and three feet wide, through which water from one abundant spring was piped into the city. The Builder of this water works was Eitaly, son Neustria, magaret. It is one of three structures…”

Scientists suggest that The Samos aqueduct was used for thousands of years, and then was abandoned and forgotten. The tunnel was rediscovered only at the end of the XIX century. After the reopening, the underground aqueduct became a tourist attraction. Malinow of the tunnel is only part of the archaeological site Pythagóreion, included in the world heritage List of UNESCO.

Video Eupalinos tunnel (tour)

Whether to go on a tour of Eupalinos tunnel?
Although The Samos aqueduct is considered one of the wonders of the world, a tour of the tunnel will impress not everyone. In fact, the tour is a short walk through the gloomy (although there is a backlight) narrow and low tunnel (width and height — less than two meters).

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