Gard bridge

Gard bridge
Gard bridge

On more than one occasion we have told you here about the city of Nimes, in the French Provence, one of the Gallic cities that treasures more heritage from the Roman era, with spectacular buildings such as its amphitheater or the famous Maison Carrée. So much so that one of the richest museums in the town is the new Museum of Romanity.


Gard Bridge

All these are the remains of the important colony that the Romans created here. A colony where life would have been much more difficult if the Empire's engineers had not developed one of the most impressive works in the entire region. We refer to a long aqueduct of about 50 kilometers that from a spring in the area of ​​ Uzés supplied water to the colony. And in the layout of this infrastructure, the graceful Bridge over the River Gard draws our attention. One of the most striking engineering works of the Roman Empire and on a par with another of the great aqueducts of that historical period, that of Segovia in Spain.

El Puente del Gard is a work from the 1st century of our Era and in an almost miraculous way it has survived to this day, considering that it is a stone construction in which no type of mortar was used. Just fitting those colossal stones, some weighing several tons, and joining them with iron staples.

And the result is of admirable dimensions.Having a maximum height of 49 meters and a width at the top of up to 275 meters. To reach that size, it was created with three different levels. A lower one, narrower with only 6 arches that are the largest of the set. Then there is an intermediate, where there are already 11 arches, as well as the structure has a lower thickness. While the upper part is 35 meters smaller and above them is the conduit for water, always sloping, since the entire technique was based on taking advantage of the law of gravity. Although, in a very compensated way, since throughout its 50 km route, the height from the beginning to the final outlet only drops 17 meters, yes, enough to have moved millions of liters of water daily.

The work is impressive for its result, and also exciting because there are traces of how it was built, with the fastening marks that were made for the great scaffolding where the stonemasons worked and where they placed the pulleys to raise the stones some gigantic. In fact, the researchers think that the construction of the bridge alone could take up to 3 years and more or less a thousand workers would take part in it. Simply impressive, and although in the 4th century it was no longer used as an aqueduct due to lack of maintenance in the water conduit, the truth is that for centuries it has been used as an authentic bridge to join both banks of that ravine of theProvence.

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