The Pont du Gard is a 31 mile limestone aqueduct built by the Romans during the reign of Emperor Cladius. The Romans built this bridge over the River Gard and it is a system of canals to bring fresh water to Nimes citizens from the springs at Uzes. The Pont du Gard is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges, and one of the best preserved.
“The Pont du Gard is familiar to archeologists and makers of tourism posters. Less well known is that so many blocks of the arches in the aqueduct are labeled with both the level and position (Fig. 3) including front, left, center, middle, right (front facing or facade = FR frons, left = S sinister , right = D dextra, middle = M medium or coded in similar abbreviations).”
“The blocks were undoubtedly carved and fitted off-site and then assembled on-site, but even so, the most stable configuration would be for the common side between two blocks to be angle bisector of the two faces. In conclusion, Roman engineers may have numbered the stones from the prepared model already knowing the necessarily flattened parabolas that made it possible for the open space (60%) relative to the closed space (40%) to be greater for lowering wind resistance in high winds, which also suggests Roman engineering understood some sort of vector analysis. Whether or not the rationale offered here is provable or observable elsewhere, Roman engineering continues to surprise even into the 21st century.”
The Romans established a colony in Nimes in 30 B.C. where you can admire the Roman amphitheater and temple.
It is located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard commune in the South of France. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. It is one of the most popular tourist sites in France. There is a museum that offers a short film about the Romans.
The famous aqueduct was constructed by the Roman Empire in the mid first century under Emperor Cladius. , before the dawn of the Christian era. The bridge is almost 164 feet high and has 3 levels. The the longest level is 902 feet long. The bottom tier of the structure is a walkway. In 1285, the bishop of Uzes mandatated a toll-collection process from all travelers crossing the bridge. The third level carries a water conduit.
Here’s a video in French:
The Pont du Gard is currently one of the most visited attractions in all of France. For more information visit: www.pontdugard.fr
Here’s the UNESCO link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/344
Here’s a video: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/344/video
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com