The Pont du Gard


Occitanie Cultural Heritage

Atout France/Nathalie Baetens
© Atout France/Nathalie Baetens

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 1 February 2023

The Pont du Gard, a masterpiece of engineering

From its 40 centuries of history, the Pont du Gard has held pride of place as the highest aqueduct in the Roman times and is one of the wonders of the ancient world: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pont du Gard is the single most prestigious aqueduct in Nîmes.

This structure, built between Uzès and Nîmes (Gard) has supplied water to the city of Nîmes for 5 centuries.

It winds between the two cities, over 50 km long through the mountains.

Spanning the River Gardon

The Pont du Gard is a part of this monumental aqueduct. This bridge was built to allow the aqueduct of Nîmes to cross the river Gardon.

Built around the year 50 AD, the Pont du Gard is a true testiment to Roman engineering. It peaks at over 48 m and crosses the river over a length of 275 meters.

This architectural masterpiece is built on 3 levels consisting of arches:

• the lower floor is made of six arches • the intermediate stage 11 arches • the upper level 35 arches

At its peak, the bridge once supported a pipeline, where the water flowed under a layer of stone slabs.

Masterpiece of engineering

The aqueduct was built with remarkable precision - its average slope is only 12m over a course 50km long - the bridge is a true marvel of engineering. It was built entirely with dry materials, without the need of any masonry.

Stones some of which weigh about 6 tons were hoisted 40m high and maintained by seals carved on site.

Only the tallest part, at the height of the canal, is made of rubblestone fused with mortar. The Pont du Gard is magnificently beautiful thanks to its elegant forms and natural surroundings that have hardly suffered the ravages of time in 20 centuries.

This is one of the most visited French monuments every year.


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