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The Pont du Gard

The aqueduct's most famous World

Le Pont du GardThe Pont du Gard is a portion of a Roman aqueduct bridge built in three levels, located in the south of France, between Nimes and Uzes, in the department of Gard. It spans the Gardon, or Gard, and ensures the continuity of the Roman aqueduct, which led water Uzès to Nimes.

Built over three floors with stones extracted in the same places in the Roman quarries surrounding the bridge over the Gard region to nearly 49 m high, over a length of 275 m.

Floor below : 6 arches, 142.35 m long, 6.36 m thick, 21.87 m high
Floor central : 11 arches, 242.55 m long, 4.56 m thick, 19.50 m high
Upper deck : 35 arches, 275 m long, 3.06 m thick, 7.40 m high

Pont du Gard -3The Pont du Gard and Nimes aqueduct dating from the first century of our era. The source who fed the aqueduct that was located 12m above the level of reservoirs in the city. The Romans had to be very precise to allow water to drain by gravity to Nîmes. The aqueduct complete a slope of 34 cm per kilometre, or 1 / 3 000, which is a remarkable technological achievement. It has a winding path to take full advantage of reliefs. The bridge itself was built so that water can pass through the small valley of the Gardon, providing 20 000 cubic metres of water per day in Nimes. The running water was putting a whole day to reach a serious point of capture located in the Fountain of Eure, near Uzès, until the book distribution still visible on the streets Lampèze in Nimes and called Castellum.

It is unlikely that the aqueduct Nîmes has been able to operate normally more than a few centuries. It would not have fed the city of Nimes beyond the fifth century. Recent studies have helped to trace the history of this building formidable: Construction in the middle of the first century of our ere. Setting the operation during the second half of the century with a surrélèvement the height of the pipeline 60 cm over a length of 6 km, 50 years after construction. Then a normal operating period ending in the third century. Finally, one last time the aqueduct and occasionally worked with a water flow very limited before being definitively abandoned at the end of the fifth century or the beginning of the sixth.

Pont du Gard - détailAbandoned, the aqueduct and the Pont du Gard have gradually degraded, but in 1834, Prosper Mérimée who would be appointed director general of historic monuments visited Pont du Gard and the idea was submitted to a general restoration the monument. It entailed considerable work and cost accordingly. Also, he could only make minor repairs blockage, between 1843 and 1845, under the direction of Charles Questel who must, however, the spiral staircase on the left bank providing access to the third floor. Also, an exploration of all the aqueduct began in 1846, under the direction of the hydraulic engineer Leo Dombre.

Nowadays, the Pont du Gard is the subject of constant surveillance and, recently, some delicate work have been made to strengthen two batteries with rocks that support them were attacked by the drainage of the Gardon.

The Pont du Gard was classified as World Heritage of Humanity in 1985.

Photographs of the Pont du Gard

Le Pont du Gard Pont du Gard Pont du Gard - 2 Pont du Gard - intérieur

Around Pont du Gard

Nîmes - Avignon - Aix en Provence - Arles - Tarascon - Salon de Provence- Saint Rémy de Provence - Beaucaire - Abbaye Saint Michel de Frigolet - Barbentane - Montagnette - Fontvieille - Maussane les Alpilles - Baux de Provence - Alpilles

Other cities in Provence