A 2000 year old water pipe with an amazing history.Älgbert Elgson
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The Pont du Gard, literally translated „the bridge over the Gard river“, is actually a Roman aqueduct from the 1st century AD. It was built to provide the Roman city of Nemausus (Nîmes) with enough fresh water for its residents.
The structure is 49 meters high and spans the river with a length of 275 meters on the top level. The aqueduct was part of an approximately 50 km long water supply, of which only fragments remain. Maintenance was very expensive and was increasingly neglected over time. In the 9th century, the building eventually became completely unusable and was used by the residents of the area as a quarry for other buildings.
After the Pont du Gard became unusable as a water pipe, it was used for a long time as a traffic bridge. It wasn’t until the 1950s that the bridge built next to the aqueduct in the 17th century was closed to traffic and can only be crossed on foot today.
The Pont du Gard is one of the most important preserved bridge structures of antiquity and is one of the most important sights in southern France.
Next to the Pont du Gard is a wonderfully designed museum that brings Roman architecture closer to the visitor. Models and finds are used to explain in French and English how the Romans were able to build such an impressive building with the simplest of tools. For the current prices and opening times, please check the official website.
Behind the museum in the surrounding area, you can follow the course of the former Roman water pipes with numerous informative signs on the hiking trails. Here one is always amazed at how well preserved the system is, despite neglected maintenance for centuries.
How to get there?
The best way to get to the Pont du Gard is by car. There is a bus connection to Vers-Pont-du-Gard, but the bus frequency is not very high.
There are large parking spaces on both sides of the river, which can be used free of charge with the entrance ticket. There are also some charging stations for electric cars. An entry with mobile homes is also possible.
The Pont du Gard is one of the most important archaeological sights in southern France and the attached museum gives a very good insight into the world of the Romans.
From here you have a good starting point to explore the surrounding area on foot and enjoy the beautiful landscape. However, you should bring sturdy shoes.
We were here: 2019
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