Pont du Gard

The 'Pont du Gard' has been crossing the Gardon for some 2,000 years!

The Pont du Gard has been crossing the Gardon for some 2,000 years!

Click on any image to see a larger (1500 x 1000 pixel) version!

During the first century AD, the Romans built a 50 kilometer (31 mile) canal system to carry water from a spring near Uzès to the city of Nîmes. While mostly underground, a bridge had to be built to move water across the gorge of the Gardon. The limestone bridge has a height of 49 meters (160 feet) and used to carry an estimated 200,000 cubic meters of water (almost 53 million gallons) per day. Over its entire length, the canal system descended in height by only 17 meters (56 feet), while the bridge itself dips by a mere 2.5 centimeters, just under one inch!

On September 18, 2015, my friend Didier and I visited the Pont du Gard. I hadn't been there in many years; access used to be free, but I remembered the whole site as very dirty and somewhat run-down. Today, one pays 18 € per visiting car (which includes access to the entire site for up to five people), and the grounds are immaculate and extremely well maintained. In my opinion, this is a huge improvement. There is also a wonderful nature walk called Mémoires de Garrigue, a beautiful display of Mediterranean vegetation we happily explored. To find out more about the whole Pont du Gard site, you can visit its official web site.


The visitor center A first glimpse of the aqueduct

The visitor center

A first glimpse of the aqueduct


Entering the 'Mémoires de Garrigue' An olive grove

Entering the Mémoires de Garrigue

An olive grove


Of course, there are vines, too A first 'borie', a circular shepherd's hut built of dry stones

Of course, there are vines, too

A first borie, a circular shepherd's hut built of dry stones


A lovely walk in the shade We walked for quite some time without encountering a soul

A lovely walk in the shade

We walked for quite some time without encountering a soul


A sightseeing platform... ...provides a lovely view towards the Rhône valley.

A sightseeing platform...

...provides a lovely view towards the Rhône valley.


A stately olive tree Approaching a second 'borie'

A stately olive tree

Approaching a second borie


This one seems better preserved and even has a door No two olive trees are alike

This one seems better preserved and even has a door

No two olive trees are alike


Exiting the 'Mémoires de Garrigue' Back at the 'Pont du Gard'

Exiting the Mémoires de Garrigue

Back at the Pont du Gard


Approaching the aqueduct On the 'Pont du Gard'

Approaching the aqueduct

On the Pont du Gard


Crossing the 'Pont du Gard' The view from the bridge onto the Gardon

Crossing the Pont du Gard

The view from the bridge onto the Gardon


Looking at the aqueduct from the other side On the right bank of the Gardon

Looking at the aqueduct from the other side

On the right bank of the Gardon


The view from our lunch table An imposing structure

The view from our lunch table

An imposing structure


All this to carry water... A closer look

All this to carry water...

A closer look


This is definitely built to last Overall view from the west side (upstream)

This is definitely built to last

Overall view from the west side (upstream)


On the west side On the east side

On the west side

On the east side


One can still walk across the top part, but only with a guide The pillars are rather massive

One can still walk across the top part, but only with a guide

The pillars are rather massive


'Le Vieux Moulin' (today, a snack bar!) One last look before heading home

Le Vieux Moulin (today, a snack bar!)

One last look before heading home

These photographs are also available in one of our web galleries.
Among other things, the gallery allows viewing the photos as a slide show. Check it out!




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