Pont du Gard, France

If you’ve dipped into my blog in the past, you may be aware that I have a bit of a thing for Roman architecture. I’m just fascinated by what the Romans were able to achieve. Especially considering that many of their building techniques were lost for centuries when the Roman Empire collapsed.

IMG_0585One of the most impressive Roman structures I’ve visited is the incredible Pont du Gard, near Remoulins in Southern France. This limestone marvel more than measures up to the iconic Colosseum in Rome itself.

IMG_0566The Pont du Gard is essentially three arched bridges made of limestone, stacked one on top of the other. It was built in the 1st Century AD to carry the 31-mile-long Nîmes Aqueduct across the valley of the Gardon River. The uppermost ‘bridge’ is almost 1200 feet long and towers 160 feet above the river, making it the highest Roman bridge in existence.

IMG_0578IMG_0583Although originally designed to carry water, when the Nîmes Aqueduct fell into disrepair after the fall of Rome, some enterprising local nobles and clergy reassigned it a toll bridge for foot traffic.

The 18th Century bridge that runs beside the Pont du Gard is dwarfed by it's ancient neighbour

The 18th Century bridge that runs beside the Pont du Gard is dwarfed by its ancient neighbour

IMG_0561IMG_0563Unsurprisingly, the Pont du Gard became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

The water channel atop the Pont du Gard

The water channel atop the Pont du Gard


90% of the Nîmes Aqueduct is underground

90% of the Nîmes Aqueduct is underground

Chicken or egg… Officially, the Pont du Gard gets its name from the Gardon River, which it crosses. Yet I couldn’t help noticing that the direct translation of gard is fence, which I think the Pont du Gard resembles. So I wonder, is it possible the Gardon River actually gets its name from the bridge? Maybe not, but it makes you think, doesn’t it?

Latin inscription (or graffiti?) on the Pont du Gard

Latin inscription (or graffiti?) on the Pont du Gard

IMG_0565This post was inspired by the themes Bridges from Cee (of Cee’s Photography) and Gone, But Not Forgotten from Krista (of the Daily Post).

IMG_0580While you’re still awestruck by Roman engineering, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal (on WordPress or Bloglovin’), or through my website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr?

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About Jaspa

Jaspa's Journey is a series of award-winning, travel-based adventure novels for strong middle grade readers by Rich Meyrick. Join the Adventure! Read the books! Follow Jaspa’s ongoing Journeys at www.jaspasjourney.com. Let's explore this amazing world together! And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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28 Responses to Pont du Gard, France

  1. Cee Neuner says:

    Now these are bridges. Fabulous entry for this week. Thanks.

  2. Amy says:

    Great photos of this majestic place!

  3. Stone bridges are immense. These are so very impressive. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Mabel Kwong says:

    Magnificent shots of the bridge. Still standing strong after all these years. I’m sure you were in awe when you say it and walked alongside it 🙂

  5. Awesome pictures! I too love Roman architecture.

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  8. jpeggytaylor says:

    They knew a thing or two about construction, those old Romans, didn’t they 😉 It really is a fabulous bridge – or set of bridges! Wonderful photos 🙂

  9. Cee Neuner says:

    Congratulations! I have selected this post to be featured on Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.
    I hope that you are having a great week!

  10. Megz says:

    Beautiful! And I love the history behind it.

  11. Emilio Pasquale says:

    What an amazing bridge. And still standing? Our present day builders and architects could take lessons!

  12. Fantastic photos of a fantastic construction!

  13. suej says:

    I love the good old PDG…..did you get to see the water channel at the top years ago? I believe you can no longer get up there?….

    • Jaspa says:

      Do you mean the channel on the top level of the bridge, Sue? There are a couple of photos of that in the post, so I guess you probably mean something else. When I was there (in 2008) you could see it from the top of the hill on the far side, but you couldn’t actually get to it.

      • suej says:

        I was referring to the channel at the top, because I have walked through it (and crawled across the top of the bridge) years ago, and I wondered how you got a photo as I knew there was no longer any access!

        • Jaspa says:

          I see what you mean now, Sue. Walking through the tunnel sounds so cool! I wish I’d been able to visit before the rules changed, like you did. As it was, we had to be content taking photos from the adjoining hillside.

          Obviously, I understand the reasons why they no longer allow visitors to go on the aqueduct itself. I say ‘obviously’, although some other people don’t seem to get it. If you look carefully in my last photo, you can see that at least three people while I was there thought the new rules didn’t apply to them. I guess they were just really special! 😉

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