River Crossing 2

The massive and magnificent Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct built in the first century AD to carry water over the River Gardon near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard in Provence, France.

The bridge has three tiers of arches and stands 48.8 metres (160 feet) high. In its prime the aqueduct carried some 40,000 cubic meters (8,800,000 imp gal) of water a day over 50 km (31 miles) to the fountains, baths and homes of Nîmes.

Photographs of Pont de Gard shot during my French photography workshops of 2008

After the Roman Empire collapsed and the aqueduct fell into disuse, it remained intact due to its secondary function as a toll bridge. For centuries the local lords and bishops were responsible for its upkeep, in exchange for the right to levy tolls on travellers using it to cross the river.

Over time, some of its stone blocks were looted, and serious damage was inflicted on it in the 17th century. It became an important tourist destination in the 18th century, undergoing a series of renovations between the 18th and 21st centuries.


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