Before leaving the south, a short visit to Pont-du-Gard, an aqueduct built by the Romans, during the early or middle of the 1st century. It’s part of a total aqueduct system bringing water from close to Uzez to Nîmes (Nemausus during Roman times), totally some 50 km (31 miles) – not going quite as straight as indicated on the map. It had a for those days heavy capacity of some 20.000 cubic meters (5 million gallons) a day.
The Pont-du-Gard crosses the small river Gardon, affluent to the Rhône River, which is beautiful and good for bathing and canoeing etc...
It is believed that it took some three years to build Pont-du-Gard, involving maybe 1000 workers. The heavy stones, several tons each, were made to fit perfectly together without use of mortar.
The real aqueduct part is on the third level – followed by a tunnel on the south bank. You can now make a guided tour. During my first visit here some 40 years ago together with my future wife, we could walk freely everywhere, including on the stones covering the aqueduct.
To the lower level, used as bridge for horses and pedestrians, was added a real road bridge in 1743. You can see some “tagging” from the 18th and 19th century. This bridge was open for traffic until a few years ago, when the whole area became pedestrian, got a museum etc.
The Pont-du-Gard is part of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites since 1985.
When we visited together with grandkids, it was a hot day, including quite a bit of climbing to get the best views. It was really nice to make a lunch break under the linden-trees.