Thursday, May 8, 2014

Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard
I'm fascinated by old things. And when really old things are really big...all I can say is "WOW!" I said that a lot when Maggie, Bill and I visited the Pont du Gard on our recent trip. This Roman aqueduct was built over a five year period beginning in 50 AD. It brought water from its source in Uzès to the Roman city of Nimes, supplying water for drinking and for the many fountains, pools and baths there. The water ran through a trough at the very top of the structure over 48 meters from the Gardon River that flows under it.
In 1743 a second bridge was built alongside the main aqueduct to allow for heavier cart and foot traffic. Maggie and I walked across this bridge to view the aqueduct from the other side and then to climb up to view the very top...
This is the trough that carried water across the span of the aqueduct. As the crow flies, the distance b etween Uzès and Nimes is 20 kilometers. The route of the aqueduct, however, was over 50 kilometers as it skirted around natural features. Its elevation drops 12 meters to ensure a flow of 35-40,000 cubic meters of water a day to Nimes' 50,000 residents. It's an amazing engineering feat!

As well as being quite a beautiful structure.

If you visit, be sure to spend some time in the wonderful museum onsite. It's included in the price of admission and is well worth an hour or so of your time. You'll be amazed to learn just how they built this huge structure.

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