Results 1-10of 11 Reviews
Perth, Scotland, United Kingdom
October 15, 2011
From journal Random Provence
by Liam Hetherington
Manchester, United Kingdom
August 2, 2008
From journal Provence: A Home From Rome
June 5, 2006
We’d heard about this construct and despite our lack of planning stumbled upon signs to the site. It was an absolutely stunning sight as we approached and it was hard to think that this was constructed over 2,000 years ago. This aqueduct was built by the Romans to service their prestigious settlement at Nimes (more of that later).
It spans the Gardon River and at 157 feet it was the highest bridge constructed by the Romans and a masterpiece of engineering. It started at the springs at Uzes and water tumbled along its 31-mile channel to the centre of Nimes. It would be a long and difficult job because most of the water channel was underground and dug out of the solid rock but the real artistry is recognised in the aqueduct itself. The limestone construction is three storeys and it’s incredible that these fantastic arches have escaped the ravages of time. The river below has burst its banks many times over the years but the aqueduct has stood firm.
We joined the throngs to walk the length of this mighty bridge and from here the true size of the beast struck home. Walking on the bridge with monolithic arches below, thrusting deeply into the river bed we imagined Roman soldiers pounding their way across here heading from the Roman stronghold to "educate the rest of France into Roman ways." As we looked skyward we speculated what a drenching these same men would have got if the channel above, supported by a further series of majestic arches on thick chunky pillars, had sprung a leak. This was carrying up to 20,000m³ of water a day to Nimes. It was clear that people came here not only to view the spectacular piece of engineering history, it was also a social centre for discussion and meeting up with friends. I guess the original architect would have been happy with that!
Beneath us the gently flowing waters of the River Gardon were in use. The site is a popular play area with the French who love to swim and dive in the waters of the river and although it was busy when we were there the cacophony of youngsters enjoying themselves did not seem out of place with this ancient monument. Around the bridge the development of a modern visitors centre, le portal, provides a variety of restaurants, an auditorium (in a disused quarry), and visitors "promenades." Vineyards populate the slopes over the river valley and on the "plains" nearer to the water’s edge are signs of the regions earlier, and still prospering farming heritage, the olive tree. An ancient, wizened tree, still bearing fruit, stands proudly where must have been for centuries.We found this to be a fascinating visit—ideal for its historical perspective, its leisure and social opportunities and, of course, the chance to enjoy good food (either in the restaurants or in the picnic areas). What a place to chill out in!
From journal Touring around Nimes
January 17, 2007
From journal Southern France
North Vancouver, British Columbia
June 4, 2006
From journal Western Provence & Rhone River Delta
Los Angeles, California
April 15, 2006
From journal Back to Paris
Durham, United Kingdom
July 31, 2004
The car parks are a very short and pleasant walk from the bridge itself. Come on a nice day, bring some food along and have a picnic! You can walk across the first tier of the bridge, over the river. Stay away from the edge if you are prone to vertigo as even tier one is quite high. The approaches on both sides give some excellent photo opportunities. Check out the photos I've posted to get a feel for the sight. I can honestly say I've not seen anything quite like it.
The Pont du Gard is easy to reach: follow the A9 from Orange towards Nimes, then after 10 miles or so take a right onto the N100 towards Roumoulins. The Pont du Gard is unsurprisingly well sign posted from there.
With good planning, a trip to the Pont du Gard also enables photo-stops at the impressive Roman Sites in Orange and Arles (which we did - see its own journal), and Nimes (which we didn't - we went down to the Camargue instead). This has got to be the best region in the world for the highest and most impressive concentration of Roman remains in such a small area.
From journal Ancient History, Natural Beauty, Weather And Wine
December 21, 2003
Some years ago you could lie sunbathing on top of the "bridge" but the structure has now been fenced off to preserve it. Instead, you can now lie on the river's side--depending on the water's level--and sun bathe, or you can go to the "Kayak Vert" or "Canoë Le Tourbillon" and rent a canoe.
There is a big welcoming center attached to the place - it's not quite my style - very commercial - but they have a museum and a cinema if you have more interest in the place than just seeing the great views.
Parking will cost you about 5 Euro. But you can also reach the place by bus from the nearby Nimes (23 km) and Avignon (26 km).
From journal Picturesquely Provence
Wellington, New Zealand
September 21, 2003
The bridge is 275m long and 48m high, which makes it the highest in the Roman world. It is composed of three levels. An impressive feat of engineering, the bottom level of arches was designed specifically to withstand huge water in the case of a flood. These were again successfully put to the test in the floods of 2002, two millenia after its construction! These same floods have necessitated significant rebuilding and construction on the right bank, which is currently closed.
After the decline of the Roman Empire the aqueduct was used as a bridge. It is still possible to cross the lower level of the bridge on foot for free.
Most of the other facilities at the centre of the left bank charge an entry fee, these include the musuem and the Grande Expo, a permanent multimedia exhibition presenting the aqueduct’s 2000 year history. Guided tours of the bridge are also available. The centre includes a restaurant and souvenir shops.
The Pont du Gard is situation between Remoulins (RN 100) and Vers-Pont-du-Gard (D81) 27km from Nîmes. There is also a bus from Nîmes which takes 30 minutes and runs two to five times per day.
From journal Nîmes - Rome meets Provence
New York, New York
November 29, 2005
From journal Ancient Roman Nimes