Roman aqueduct Pont du Gard is one of the places of the World Heritage Sites list (UNESCO) that you must visit. After visiting this place in 1884, writer Henry James wrote: “Unspeakably imposing, and nothing could well be more Roman.”
Indeed, Pont du Gard is the most beautiful and highest (with Segovia in Spain) monument of Roman hydraulic engineering. Bridge over the River Gard is a part of the 50 kilometer long aqueduct with drinking water that flowed from a spring near the town of Uzes all the way to Nimes. Since the ground between those two south France cities are hilly, ancient builders have constructed an aqueduct mostly underground and in the first century they spanned the River Gard canyon with 269 meters long bridge: with three different size arches (48.8 meters maximum height).
Until the 6th century about 200 million liters of water flowed throught aqueduct daily. From the source to the fountains, baths and homes of Nimes citizens water “travelled” 27 hours . The drop of water along the entire aqueduct is just 17 meters, and drop to the Pont du Gard is only 2.5 inches, which proves the great skills and precision of Roman builders.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, the aqueduct became abandoned , but Pont du Gard survived thanks to its secondary function – local bishops and feudal lords maintained a bridge, for centuries, as an excellent source of revenue by charging passengers toll. Today, the traffic is diverted to other roads and the Pont du Gard has been renovated and became a fantastic tourist site.
We recommend you to visit Pont du Gard during summertime when you can have picnic under the old olive trees, splatter in fresh cold water or just walk the bridge and take a hat off to admire ancient masters.
At the entrance to the parking lot there’s a museum and a restaurant by the river with a large terrace and outstanding views of the Pont du Gard.
Please see this link for more informations about working hours, ticket and parking prices.
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