Tips for a Visit to the Pont du Gard
Go visit the Pont du Gard if, for no other reason, this “masterpiece” has been standing for 2000 years! Our favourite Roman ruin in the South of France is the Pont du Gard, the aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River about 60 km (37 miles) from our house in Sablet, between the towns of Remoulins and Uzès.
A Bit of History
The Pont du Gard is part of a 50 km (31 mile) aqueduct constructed by the Romans in the middle of the 1st century. This massive engineering project brought fresh water from the Eure spring near Uzès to the Roman city of Nîmes, where it supplied running water to fountains, baths and private homes.
Although the Pont du Gard is an impressive (and massive) section of this aqueduct system, the entire project required a precision that is hard to imagine in an era before modern technology.
One Amazing Structure
The Pont du Gard has three tiers of arches. The span is 274 meters (899 ft) in length and stands at the height of 48.8 m (160 ft). Its width varies from 9 m (30 ft) at the bottom to 3 m (9.8 ft) at the top. The three levels of arches are recessed, with the main piers in line one above another. Continue reading here for the original article and beautiful photos by Michel.
To maintain the water flow while crossing the Gardon River, the Pont du Gard required the 50 m of height. It was constructed with an estimated 50,400 tonnes of stone, including limestone blocks from a nearby quarry. Water flowed through a channel on the top level of the 3-story structure. At its widest point, the Pont du Gard stretched 360 m (1181 feet) from one side of the river to the other.
Visitor Information and Tips
Purchase your tickets online to save time.
If you wish to walk through the top level of the bridge, you must be with an official guide. It is well worth the additional ticket price.
Do NOT miss the museum and short film, both of which provide a terrific overview of the Pont du Gard and this ambitious engineering feat.
400 Route du Pont du Gard
Tel: +33 (0)4 66 37 50 99
Located at the heart of a large triangle formed by the cities of Avignon, Marseille and Montpelier, this UNESCO site makes for a great day trip.
Hours of Operation:
The Pont du Gard site is open all year-round. However, there are seasonal adjustments in the opening hours. Please check the website for details.
Entrance and Parking:
The Gardon Rivers divides the site in half. There are two entrances both with large parking lots the Pont du Gard. The left bank (rive gauge) has 800 parking spots and the right bank (rive droite) with 600 places.
Places to Eat:
You are welcome to bring food and picnic on the side of the river. For a light bite, there is a snack bar near the entrance on the left bank. Or enjoy the view at “Les Terraces” at the foot of the Pont du Gard on the right bank.