About Pont du Gard Aqueduct
Pont du Gard is an iconic Ancient Roman bridge and aqueduct built in first century AD and located near Nimes in France. In fact, it was the tallest bridge ever built by the Romans, rising 160 feet.
Pont du Gard Aqueduct history
Nimes had been a major city of Gaul before 45BC, when it was incorporated in the Roman Empire. As the city’s population grew, exceeding 20,000, the need for water surpassed the available supplies of the Nemausus spring. Thus, from 40AD, over 1,000 workers were engaged in building Pont du Gard in order to transfer water from the Gard River (the Eure) to the city. Upon its completion, it would stay in use until the sixth century, when it was finally abandoned.
Pont du Gard aqueduct remains one of humankind’s great masterpieces. A marvel of Antiquity and a true technical feat, it is also a stupendous site that has regained its unspoiled state since its refurbishment.
Since then, Pont du Gard has undergone a series of restoration projects and is now a spectacular place to visit. In 1985 it was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Pont du Gard Aqueduct today
Today guided tours of Pont du Gard take visitors right to the very heart of this iconic structure to see the how such an engineering feat was achieved and how the aqueduct operated. Visitors can also walk the full length of the bridge itself and explore this Roman marvel up close. These tours last approximately 1.5 hours.
There is also a Pont du Gard museum on site that explores the engineering techniques used by the Romans to build the bridge as well as the history of the area in which it is built, which actually stretches back to prehistoric times. Other exhibits found within the museum also focus on the history of Nimes and the surrounding area during the Roman era.
Getting to Pont du Gard Aqueduct
If travelling by car, the way to the Pont du Gard is very well indicated on the A9 motorway from Nîmes to Lyon (take exit 23 at Remoulins) or the N100 from Avignon and on the smaller roads that lead from it to the site. There are two car parks. The road signs will probably direct you to the larger, rive gauche (left bank) one (800 places), near the village of Vers Pont du Gard.
If travelling by train, a brand-new TGV station opened in 2019 called Nîmes-Pont-du-Gard. However, despite the name, it is actually in the small town of Manduel, 15 miles south of the Pont du Gard. Shuttle buses may be available in due course, and it’s within striking distance of a taxi ride.
The Most Remarkable Roman Aqueducts Still Standing
From France's Pont du Gard to the Segovia Aqueduct in Spain, these towering ancient Roman waterways have truly stood the test of time.
France Historic Sites
From towering imposing castles to First World War trenches, ancient Roman ruins to historic Revolutionary sites, France is brimming with relics of its esteemed and turbulent history. Here's our pick of 10 of the very best attractions in the country.
Roman Sites France
Delve into France's fascinating Roman history by exploring the best Roman Sites in France. Highlights include La Maison Carrée and Lapidaire Museum.