During this trip I had two requests, to see Pont du Gard and Avignon. I got to one of them. This trip was about my son. We were visiting the places where he served while he was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While we got to see many sights, it was about the people he met and the places he lived. We were just lucky that he got to serve in some awesome places.
From Aix we were headed to Pont du Gard but we were able to drive by the Roquefavour Aqueduct. It is so beautiful and you wouldn’t be able to tell it is not ancient because it was based on the style of Pont du Gard. It is the world’s highest stone aqueduct. The road by it seems to be very popular with cyclists so be careful. It is very imposing.
Pont du Gard
But the grand lady of all Aqueducts is the Pont du Gard. It is located near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard. It was the highest elevated Roman aqueduct and one of the best preserved.
It is a three tier stone bridge that crosses the Gardon River and the bridge only descends about 1 inch. It is a tribute to the great feats of Roman engineering that still stand thousands of years later. It is believed it was built around 50 AD.
It is amazing to see something so old. I was so moved. It was used until the 1800s as a toll bridge. And to this day you can walk across the top tier with a tour. You just need to meet at the top entrance at the designated times. I am so grateful that people have seen fit to maintain and restore this beautiful monument.
You can also hike for a while and see the rest of the aqueduct. There are some pre-historic caves nearby that you can also visit. This seems to be a popular destination with lots of kayaking and water rafting available as well as several beaches. Near the entrance of the park there are several campgrounds and resorts. It would be a fun full-day activity if you want to do the water sports. I wonder if the Romans did the same things?
Nimes is sometimes referred to as the Rome of Southern France because of the beautifully preserved Roman buildings. The Maison Carree is the best preserved Roman Temple anywhere.
But the most imposing building in Nimes is the Amphitheater. It is beautifully preserved because it has several uses during it’s life. It was used for gladiatorial fights during Roman times. Then a small town was built inside it to get protection from invaders. It was not until the 19th century that the houses and churches were cleared and an actual restoration was started.
You can visit the inside and to this day you can see shows, but this time they don’t kill the performers. Authentic Roman Games are held every once in a while by the city showing what was originally held.
Nimes is a lovely town, which I plan on returning to visit so I can see the sights again. If you love Roman ruins and history this is a must see. There are so many other sites to visit. SO much to see, SO little time.
Next time I also want to buy Nimes most famous export fabric de nimes or what we call today denim.
#Nimes #France #RomanMonuments