Above Image is the property of Roberto Ferrari via Wikimedia Commons using the CC BY-SA 2.0 license.
Just Traveling Thru

Pont du Gard, France

After some further adventures in and around Carcassonne & Rustiques, we repacked the Renault, and headed off to Annecy. This was easily the longest drive so far, at 560 kilometers, we knew we had to get out on the autoroute early.

The drive from Rustiques to the Pont du Gard was 227 kilometers via the A9 auto route. We had researched this destination and knew that stopping to see the Pont du Gard was well worth the time, so we made a very early departure from Rustiques.

This is a huge structure, 160 feet in height, 20 feet in width and was constructed by Roman Engineers nearly 2,000 years ago to carry water from Fontaine d'Eure to the Roman colony at Nimes, France.

The Pont du Gard, is an amazingly well preserved Roman Aqueduct, very near the city of Remoulin, France. The aqueduct is a huge structure built in the first century AD & still carrying foot traffic today. It was constructed by the Romans to carry water to the city of Nimes over 50 kilometers away.

The main construction work lasted between 10 and 15 years, under the reigns of Claudius and Nero, with the Pont du Gard taking less than five years. The aqueduct is comprised of several hundred meters of tunnels, three basins and some twenty bridges, of which the Pont du Gard remains the most spectacular.

We've been to Rome, and have explored a number of Roman ruins in various countries, but this aqueduct is such a great example of Roman engineering, it just had to be seen to be believed. Each stone in the structure has the appearance of having been cut & shaped precisely for where it sits without much of a gap at all!

Obviously, we had to walk across the bridge just below the aqueduct, and as you walk along and look at how well the stones were cemented into place, you realize that the Romans were incredible engineers. What it took to construct the aqueduct are impressive: over 21,000 cubic metres of rock, weighing 50,400 tons! The gap between the arches is one of the largest in the Roman world of constructions at 25 meters.

This was a beautiful day, and there were a large number of French visitors either swimming in the river below, or having a picnic on the beach.

 Quick History Lesson 

The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct that crosses the Gardon River near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard in southern France. The Pont du Gard, built as three tiers of archways to bring water to the city of Nîmes, is the highest of all elevated Roman aqueducts, and one of the best preserved. It was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1985 because of its historical importance.

The aqueduct bridge is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50-kilometer (31 mile) system built in the first century AD to carry water from a spring at Uzès to the Roman colony of Nemausus (Nîmes). Because of the uneven terrain between the two points, the mostly underground aqueduct followed a long, winding route that called for a bridge across the gorge of the Gardon River. The bridge has three tiers of arches, stands 48.8 meters (160 ft) high, and descends a mere 2.5 centimetres (1 in) – a gradient of only 1 in 18,241 – while the whole aqueduct descends in height by only 12.6 meters (41 ft) over its entire length, which is indicative of the great precision that Roman engineers were able to achieve using simple technology. The aqueduct formerly carried an estimated 8,800,000 imperial gallons of water per day. Click here to go to the Pont du Gard Wikipedia Page, where some of this information came from.

 Image Credits 
  • Image # 5 above is the property of  Wolfgang Staudt via Wikimedia Commons using the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
  • Image # 6 is the property of  Tom Corser via Wikimedia Commons using the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
  • Image # 7 is the property of  Elihbeckman via Wikimedia Commons using the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Generic license.
  • Image # 8 is the property of  Andrea Schaffer via Wikimedia Commons using the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
  • All other images, unless otherwise noted, are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC
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