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The Norias of Hama are a number of norias ("wheels of pots") along the Orontes River in the city of Hama, Syria.

The Orontes River (Al Assi) was of great importance to the growth and development of Hama through history. Like all other rivers in the world, it played a part in the irrigation of the fields surrounding it.

The Norias of Hama, which are some of the oldest waterwheels in the world, were first built by the Byzantines, as a system of irrigation. The Orontes walls were too deep for water to be transferred directly from the river, so gigantic waterwheels were designed and built in order to raise water from the river and drop it into ducts and canals that lead to the fields waiting to be irrigated.

There are 17 surviving Norias along the Orontes, and most of the existing Norias were rebuilt after the Byzantines by the Ayyubids.

Today, most of the Norias, although not in practical use, can be seen turning at a slow droning pace, from restaurants and cafes on the riverside.

The Noria Whell

The noria wheel is up to 20 meters (66 ft) in diameter. The water in the river is channeled into a sluice so that its flow turns the wheel around. Wooden boxes attached to the wheel raise the water from the sluice and discharge it into an artificial channel at the summit of the wheel's rotation. The water is then led by gravity along a series of aqueduct channels. It was distributed to domestic or agricultural users in Hama; access to the flow was regulated at carefully worked-out times so that the water could be shared.[2]

There are two norias on the river close to the citadel. Upstream from the town center at Bichriyat, are four more wheels that can be viewed from outdoor restaurants. Downstream from the center is the largest noria, the al-Mohamadiyya, which used to supply the Great Mosque with water. Part of its old aqueduct still spans the road. It was built in the fourteenth century and restoration work on it began in 1977.

Source: Wikipedia,

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SYRIA • HAMA Norias  ·IV·
SYRIA • HAMA Norias  ·V·