Pont du Gard - Visit time : half-day.
Exceptional for the quality of its construction and dimensions, the Pont du Gard is a global masterpiece of unique architectural and aesthetic work.
Beautifully integrated within its surroundings, the bridge exudes a certain lightness despite its 50,000 tons! Every year, more than one million visitors come to admire its beautiful ocher colors at sunset and its surroundings, both of which have regained their former charm since the redevelopment of the site in 2000. This work of art, a unique part of our global heritage, is one of the few wonders of antiquity that has survived the centuries, allowing generations of today and tomorrow to appreciate its value.
The Nîmes aqueduct is one of the oldest and most remarkable works that the hydraulic engineers installed and multiplied in all parts of the Roman Empire during the conquests. A masterpiece of Roman art, the Pont du Gard is one of the most important monuments for understanding the construction processes of the early imperial period. The accuracy of the construction matches the perfection of a technologically demanding design; indeed, since the 16th century the Pont du Gard has been considered a major reference of Roman civilization. An outstanding achievement, the Nîmes aqueduct, which traverses the Gardon River, provides a unique testimony to the skill of the technical engineers and builders of the Roman Empire. The sight of the monument leaves a grandiose impression, one that many writers have since immortalized.
The dimensions of the Pont du Gard make it the highest construction built by the Romans. Similarly, the arches on the first two levels are the most daring structures ever built in stone. Its appearance, extraordinarily light for a building of this magnitude, still amazes visitors.
It is apparent that the Pont du Gard very quickly became a source of inspiration for other regional construction projects. From the Middle Ages onward, traces of its imitation, such as the bridge of Avignon in particular, all have the same type of vault with alternating arches.
Criteria for selection
The Pont du Gard has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site since 1985, at which point the site was, and has remained, globally recognized.
Criterion (i): a masterpiece of human creative genius.
Criterion (iii): unique and exceptional testimony to Roman civilization.
Criterion (iv): an outstanding example of Roman construction, as well as of architectural ensemble and technique, the aqueducts illustrate a significant stage in the history of humanity: the Roman period.
Source : UNESCO / ICOMOS