A feat of Roman engineering
And a marvel that this wonderful structure has stood for nearly 2,000 years.
If you find yourself in the South of France, perhaps pottering around Provence, or exploring the underrated Languedoc-Roussillon region, then you really must find time to explore the Pont du Gard.
This superb structure is just 16 miles (25km) west of Avignon, or 14 miles (23km) north east of Nîmes, the town it was built to serve.
It was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985,
The walk to the bridge from the entrance & museum transports me back in time through a landscape you feel has not changed a huge amount in that time.
Wander past an ancient olive tree that has seen so much in its lifetime.
In the steps of the Romans
You can stroll over the lower level of the bridge, which gives stunning views over the River Gardon, or even venture to the top level of the Aqueduct on a guided tour.
The aqueduct was built around 40-60AD, bridging the Gardon river, as part of the longer Aqueduct de Nîmes which runs for some 31miles/50km.
It supplied water to the town of Nîmes, known as Nemausus in Roman times, from a spring near Uzès.
On the far side of the bridge the river flows peacefully by in mid October.
From this side you are afforded the best views of the magnificent 3 tiers.
There are hiking trails around the beautiful French landscape or just stroll across the Pont du Gard which is suitable for all fitness levels. the choice is yours.
Seeing this magnificent structure reminds me of the opening chapter in Pompeii, the fabulous work of faction by Robert Harris. If you haven’t read it then perhaps give it a try.
It’s all part of the ancient Roman art of moving water, with water you had power. If you like, the oil of its day.
Truly impressive, and a wonder it has stood all this time.
If you’d like to know more about the site, and the events planned don’t forget to check out the official Pont du Gard site.
Inspired to visit Pont du Gard?
Avignon makes a great base to explore the region, and there’s plenty to see in that wonderful city too.
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