More than €180,000 of grant money from the Junta de Andalucia is still outstanding to Nerja council for the restoration work carried out on the Aquila aqueduct, on the road from Nerja to Maro. The landmark aqueduct was restored almost two years ago but so far Nerja council has still not received the final grant payment from the Junta de Andalucia for carrying out this work. The Junta claims that it is not possible to make the payment of €183,550 until other projects in nearby towns have also been completed.

Nerja council are now calling for a change to the law to allow this payment to be made and meanwhile want to deduct the amount outstanding from the council’s own payments to the Association of Municipalities of the Costa del Sol as compensation.

‘El Acueducto Del Aguila’ was constructed around 1879, although the exact date is not known. It was built to provide water to the San Joaquin sugar mill and most likely was also the work of Francisco Cantarero. There are 36 arches in total on four levels. The pinnacle of the structure is completed with a still functioning weather vane in the shape of a double headed eagle. The origin of this symbol is not known but one theory is that at the time of construction eagles nested in the rocky slopes of the cliffs of Maro.

During the civil war the aqueduct suffered direct hits from shells fired during naval bombardments. Whether this was an intentional targetting or a result of attempts to bomb the Malaga – Motril road is unclear, but until the recent renovation of the aqueduct the effects of the damage could still be seen. The aqueduct has been declared a Site of Special Culture Interest by the Andalucian Government and in 2011 was given a complete restoration, but to date the Junta have not paid their full share of the cost.

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