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The Pont du Gard, Roman aqueduct

the Pont du Gard > the Pont du Gard aqueduct

The Pont du Gard

The Pont du Gard is one of the most famous monuments in France. Masterpiece of ancient engineering and elegance, the Pont du Gard was not dedicated to facilitate the movement of people and animals from one side to the other of the Gardon: The Pont du Gard is the most visible and most spectacular centerpiece of an fifty miles long aqueduct intended to supply the roman city of Nimes. The astonishing mastery and technical prowess of the Roman engineers never ceases to amaze. The Pont du Gard is admired by generations of men for nearly two millennia.

asqueduc le Pont du GardPont du Gard saillies

The Pont du Gard in figures: it consists of three rows of superimposed arches. The first row consists of six arches, is 142 meters long, 6 meters wide and high of twenty-two meters. The arches are wide, and the front nose pillars are equipped to effectively withstand the flooding of the river. Some blocks weight more than six tons. Holes and blocks projections are visible on the walls: they supported scaffolds. It supports the second row of arches as large but less thick (four meters): eleven arches over a length of 242 meters and a height of twenty meters. The third row of seven meters high and three meters thick has 35 arches over a length of 275 meters. It supports the channel where the water flowed at 49 meters above the river flowing at the bottom of the gorge. The Pont du Gard was built around the year 50 AD, the estimated duration of the construction ii two to three years, with a thousand workers on the site. In the 17th century, a road was attached to the bridge downstream side to allow the passage of larger vehicles.

Pont du GardPont du Gard

The people of Nîmes have initiated the construction of the Pont du Gard, the Roman city was quite prosperous and dynamic to finance a project of pharaonic ambition. This is the highest aqueduct of the Roman world, it was the pride of the inhabitants of the city. The aqueducts were then the most expensive constructions that could undertake the Roman cities and they competed to the prestige of the city.

Pont du GardPont du Gard

Classified by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, the Pont du Gard is today one of the most visited monument in France, with a million and a half visitors. In the end of the 1990s, the natural site was landscaped to accommodate visitors and preserve the beautiful environment. A museum helps to understand the historical context and the challenges of building the Pont du Gard. You can bath in summer in the Gardon under the arches of the Pont du Gard!

Le Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard aqueduct

Nîmes (Nemausus) is in the 1st century AD one of the most prosperous city in Roman Gaul. The Emperor Augustus granted the former capital of the Gallic tribe of Volques the privileged status of Roman colony. Yet important source of water "Jardins de la Fontaine" no longer sufficient for the needs of the inhabitants. A Roman city is consuming water must feed the baths, public baths and those of wealthy citizens, public and private fountains. The leaders of the Roman city of Nimes decided to build an aqueduct to supply water to their city and they opt to collect water from the fountain of Eure near Uzes and send it to their city.

Aqueduc Pont du GardAqueduc  Pont du Gard

The aqueduct winds in the Provencal garrigue about fifty kilometers. The water flowing by gravity, it follows the curve of the field level but must cross the valleys, hills, and the Gardon gorges. The difference in altitude between the start and finish is only 12, 6 meters with an average grade of 24.8 cm per km or 0.00025%! The accuracy of the Roman builders is astounding. The flow of water running water per day is estimated at 40,000 cubic meters on average.

Aqueduc  Pont du GardAqueduc Pont du Gard

There are remnants of the aqueduct, the fountain of Eure in Uzes, the Pont de Saint Maximin Bornègre to several bridges Worms (Bridge Lone Bridge Ménestrière Bridge Rou), arches and concretions between Worms and the Pont du Gard which can order a nice walk, the bridge of the valley near Sarnette Remoulins and two tunnels north of Sernhac. The arrival of the aqueduct is still visible in Nimes.

The aqueduct ran for six century, it was the subject of constant and costly repairs. Water left several inches of limestone deposit in the channel, up to 50 cm in places, and large concretions formed during subsequent catchments can be seen.

The aqueduct was finally abandoned in the 6th century, its stones were reused in the construction of houses and Romanesque churches in the Middle Ages.

Accommodation near the Pont du Gard and information

selection of b&b near the Pont du Gard on the portal of the guest rooms in Provence

Pont du Gard official web site : www.pontdugard.fr

Musée du Pont du GardActivities events:

Coming to Pont du Gard

GPS coordinates N 43°56'48'' - E 4°32'09''

Location: altitude 42 meters ,the Pont du Gard is located 3 km from Vers-Pont-du-Gard, 3 km from Castillon-du-Gard, 3km from Remoulins, 8 km from Collias, 14 km from Uzès, 23 km from Nîmes, 25 km de Avignon, 36 km from Orange

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