Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)

Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct)

The Pont du Gard (literally: Gard Bridge) is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département of southern France. It is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50 km-long (31 mi) structure built by the Romans to carry water from a spring at Uzès to the Roman colony of Nemausus (Nîmes). Because the terrain between the two points is hilly, the aqueduct – built mostly underground – took a long, winding route that crossed the gorge of the Gardon, requiring the construction of an aqueduct bridge. Built in the 1st century AD, the Pont du Gard is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges and is, with the Aqueduct of Segovia, one of the best preserved. It was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1985 because of its historical importance.

The bridge has three tiers of arches, standing 48.8 m (160 ft) high. The whole aqueduct descends in height by only 17 m (56 ft) over its entire length, while the bridge descends by a mere 2.5 cm (0.98 in) – a gradient of only 1 in 3,000 – which is indicative of the great precision that Roman engineers were able to achieve using only simple technology. The aqueduct formerly carried an estimated 200,000 m3 (44,000,000 imp gal) of water a day to the fountains, baths and homes of the citizens of Nîmes. It continued to be used possibly until the 6th century, with some parts used for significantly longer, but lack of maintenance after the 4th century meant that it became increasingly clogged by mineral deposits and debris that eventually choked off the flow of water.

After the collapse of the Roman Empire and the aqueduct’s fall into disuse, the Pont du Gard remained largely intact due to the importance of its secondary function as a toll bridge. For centuries the local lords and bishops were responsible for its upkeep in exchange for the right to levy tolls on travellers using it to cross the river, although some of its stones were looted and serious damage was inflicted on it in the 17th century. It attracted increasing attention starting in the 18th century and became an important tourist destination. It underwent a series of renovations between the 18th and 21st centuries, commissioned by the local authorities and the French state, that culminated in 2000 with the opening of a new visitor centre and the removal of traffic and buildings from the bridge and the area immediately around it. Today it is one of France’s most popular tourist attractions and has attracted the attention of a succession of literary and artistic visitors.

Outline
The Pont du Gard (literally: Gard Bridge) is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département of southern France.

Recommended world heritage video

  1. Ironbridge Gorge

    Ironbridge Gorge

  2. Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

    Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

  3. Porto Venere

    Porto Venere

  1. Alto Douro Wine Region

    Alto Douro Wine Region

  2. Historic Centre of Évora

    Historic Centre of Évora

  3. Lednice – Valtice Cultural Landscape

    Lednice – Valtice Cultural Landscape

  1. Ilulissat Icefjord

    Ilulissat Icefjord

  2. Levoča, Spišský Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments

    Levoča, Spišský Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments

  3. Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza

    Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza

  1. Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

    Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay

  2. Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons)

    Neolithic Flint Mines at Spiennes (Mons)

  3. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna

    Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna

  1. Frontiers of the Roman Empire

    Frontiers of the Roman Empire

  2. Upper Middle Rhine Valley

    Upper Middle Rhine Valley

  3. Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid

    Monastery and Site of the Escurial, Madrid

  1. Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

    Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

  2. Works of Antoni Gaudí

    Works of Antoni Gaudí

  3. Limes

    Limes

  1. L’viv – the Ensemble of the Historic Centre

    L’viv – the Ensemble of the Historic Centre

  2. Meteora

    Meteora

  3. Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

    Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

  1. Historical Centre of the City of Yaroslavl

    Historical Centre of the City of Yaroslavl

  2. Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island

    Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island

  3. The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault)

    The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault)

  1. Medieval Town of Torun

    Medieval Town of Torun

  2. Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

    Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

  3. Episcopal City of Albi

    Episcopal City of Albi

  1. Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura

    Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura

  2. Tower of Hercules

    Tower of Hercules

  3. Historic Areas of Istanbul

    Historic Areas of Istanbul

  1. Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

    Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

  2. The Trulli of Alberobello

    The Trulli of Alberobello

  3. La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia

    La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia

  1. Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent

    Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent

  2. Antonine Wall

    Antonine Wall

  3. Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

    Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

  1. Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

    Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

  2. Old Rauma

    Old Rauma

  3. Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe

    Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe

facebook comments
Comment
To the Top