Travel Stock Photo: ID # FRMNBG003

Copyright : Jean-Philippe Soule

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Themes & Categories:

Travel - Landmarks

Destinations - France

Title:

The Pont du Gard (bridge of Gard), Roman Aqueduct, National Monument of Gard, France.

Caption:

The Pont du Gard (bridge of Gard) is the most spectacular part of the aqueduct built by the Romans in the first century AD to bring fresh water to the city of Nīmes.
This monument was registered as a World Heritage of Man in 1985. It attracts more than a million tourists each year; the 2nd most visited provincial monument after Mont-Saint-Michel.
The difference in level between the two ends of the aqueduct is only 12 meters, making an average gradient of 24 cm/km or 0,24 mm/meter. These eloquent figures let us appreciate the technical prowess demonstrated by the Roman engineers.

The structure has a height of 49 m; it is composed of three superimposed rows of arches, becoming narrower with each. The first level is 6.3m wide, 21.8m high and 142m long; it consists of 6 big arches. The third level, 3m wide, links the two edges of the plateau over a length of 275 m. Its 35 arches support the water channel. The biggest stone blocks weigh close to 6 tons. They come from surrounding quarries of which some are still in activity.

Damaged during the barbarian invasions, the aqueduct ceased functioning in the 9th century. It was only used as a bridge for crossing the Gardon river. In 1743 it operated as a road bridge. In the 19th century, the monument, worn by time and erosion, risked collapsing. Important work to consolidate and restore it was undertaken under the Second Empire.

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Country: France   /   Region: Gard / Provence

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