The Pont du Gard was built to allow the aqueduct of Nimes, which is almost 50 km long, to cross the Gard river. The Roman architects and engineers who designed this bridge created a technical as well as an artistic masterpiece. A true masterpiece of ancient architecture, the Pont du Gard aqueduct is one of the most beautiful Roman constructions in Europe. The Pont du Gard was added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1985. It was designed to carry water across the Gardon river valley. The full aqueduct had a gradient of 34 cm/km descending 17 meters in its entire length and delivering 20,000 cubic meters of water daily. Incredibly, it was constructed entirely without the use of mortar. From the 4th century its maintenance was neglected, and deposits filled up the conduit space. Most of the Pont du Gard remains intact. The aqueduct was restored in the 18th century, by which time it had become a major tourist sight, and was restored again in the 19th century.
- ©John Lander
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