Pont du Gard, an exceptional Roman aqueduct
Pont du Gard spans the river Gardon.
The 50kms long aqueduct had a total drop of 12m, and provided Nîmes 50,000 residents with 35-40,000 cubic meters of water a day.
This water was used for drinking of course, but also to feed the many public and private fountains, pools and baths.
Construction began in 50AD and was completed five years later.
The Pont du Gard is the most acclaimed UNESCO World Heritage sites in Southern France!
A feast of Roman engineering
The 50m high arched bridge is the tallest Roman aqueduct-bridge in France and is a true feast of Roman engineering!
The arches of its two lower levels have spans of between 15m and 25m, whereas most arches of the time were 5m to 6m wide!
It was built with limestone locally sourced.
Each boulder weighed up to six tons and was individually hoisted then fixed without mortar.
The V-shaped lower level pillars acted in the manner of the prow of a ship, in order to deflect the waters of the river during flood season.
The canal that carried water to Nîmes was located on the upper level.
The slabs that covered it were slightly convex in order to drain rain water, and its walls were water-proofed with layers of plaster.
Pedestrians and ox-pulled carts were able to use the Pont du Gard when a bridge was built against the viaduct in 1783.
The viaduct is today one of the major tourist landmarks in the region.
The entrance fee includes foot access to the Pont du Gard and the interactive museum that relates the construction of the Pont du Gard as well as Roman life at the time.
Department of Gard
Coordinates: Lat 43.947566 – Long 4.534960