European Road Trip – Chapter Four – Avignon and Pont du Gard

AVIGNON

Avignon, France (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

In the 14th Century this walled City was the seat of the papacy when Frenchman Bertrand de Got was elected Pope and refused to go to Rome, choosing instead to rule from Avigon. Seven successive Popes resided in the Papal Palace until 1417 when the seat of the papacy was returned to Rome.

Avignon City Wall

Avignon City Wall

Avignon City Wall

Today the wall still stands and it encloses the old part of the city and the Papal Palace.

 

PONT DU GARD This ancient Roman aquaduct crosses the Gardon River in the south of France near Remoulins. The original structure was built in 19 B.C. A road section was added in 1743 and was used until 1996. This aquaduct was meant to carry water across the Gardon River and was part of a larger 50 km aquaduct build by the Romans to carry water from a spring to the present day site of Nimes. The gradiant was a mere 34 cm per kilometer and it delivered more than 44 million gallons of water per day. It is an engneering marvel, constructed without mortar. The masonry blocks are held in place by iron clamps and they were hoisted into place by block and tackle and human power. The water no longer flows today, but this Unesco World Heritage Site remains a popular tourist destination.

Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard

About leftCoast Reflections

Peter Buxton - husband, father, photographer, skier, kayaker and sometime cook.
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