Roman cisterns are a masterpiece of hydraulic and constructive architecture engineering that have merged in a superb way with military purposes of the Ancient Imperial Rome.
There are many tanks of the roman era that can be visited on different Regions of Italy such as those of Miseno, Pozzuoli or Formia.
Remains of ancient cisterns are also found in Tunisia, Turkey and Syria.
But the fascinating Cistern of Albano is the only source for water supply of the Roman era still perfectly working. The structure dates back to the first century before Christ, and is the one of the biggest cistern of drinking water ever built in the world of Ancient Rome.
The tank fueled the bath of the officier and petty officier and the drinking water system of the Second Parthian Legion, the Imperial Guards of the Emperor Septimius Severus (193 – 211 A.D.), the father of Caracalla.
In the military camp, located where now stands the modern Albano, lived 12,000 people (5,000 soldiers and 7,000 relatives).
The Ancient Roman Cistern consists of five gigantic underground naves with barrel vault supported by 36 giant pillars. It can contain more than 10,000 cubic meters of water and has been built within a natural bed of peperino, a vulcanic rock that has hydrophobic properties, and the pillars also have been coated with “cocciopesto”, a special waterproof cement that nowadays the modern manufacturing techniques are rediscovering.
You can book a visit throwgh the City Museum. Tel.: (0039) 069325759