Posted by: Kristie | October 10, 2009

Phenomenal Pont Du Gard

Pont Du Gard

Pont Du Gard

The Pont Du Gard is probably Provence’s premiere historical attraction. Located 25 minutes west of Avignon (and nearly two hours from where we’re staying), the site features a perfectly preserved aqueduct spanning a canyon on a massive bridge, making it one of the world’s most remarkable Roman ruins. This section of the aqueduct was part of a 30-mile canal that supplied water to the ancient city of Nîmes, which once provided nine million gallons of water per day.

The site is free although you have to pay €5 for parking and there are other fee-based activities like a museum, file and audio guide. We opted just to check out the aqueduct, utilizing our Rick Steves’ book for info. The bridge is truly awe-inspiring. It is gigantic and each stone looks perfectly cut. And, in grand Roman fashion, no mortar was used.

View of the arch and stones. The holes held the scaffolding when it was built.

View of the arch and stones. The holes held the scaffolding when it was built.

We crossed the bridge and hiked up a trail for a panoramic view, which provided a great photo-op. You can also hike down to the river and swim. When we were there, there were numerous people swimming and also people in canoes.

Panoramic view of Pont du Gard

Panoramic view of Pont du Gard

After the enjoying the view, we walked deeper into the woods through a tunnel to view some of the underground aqueduct remains. What was amazing is there’s really no protection of these ruins. You can basically climb all over them and until recently you could actually walk across the top of the aqueduct on the bridge. Now that is something you don’t see every day in the U.S.

I think we're mastering the self portrait shot.

I think we're mastering the self portrait shot.

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