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Pont du Gard, Vers-Pont-du-Gard

Route du Pont du Gard
France 30210
view web site ›'s insider take:

A UNESCO World Heritage site, this is one tourist attraction that's well worth the drive and crowds. The spectacular Roman-built bridge is worthy of a Romantic painting—three elegant layers of arches, 1,200 feet long, span two rocky precipices with the Gardon River flowing 160 feet below. The original structure is an aqueduct running from springs around the small town of Uzès to the city of Nîmes, a distance of 31 miles. No cement was used in the construction, making the architectural marvel all the more impressive. The Pont has been a tourist site for hundreds of years—Louis XVI had his engineers shore up its structure for visitor traffic, and the span got a major makeover under Napoleon III in the 1870s. Visitors can scamper about on the bridge with little keeping the overly adventurous from plunging over; however, walks along the highest archways, where the actual aqueduct is, are available only via tours offered by the site's staff—maddeningly enough, hours are unpredictable and are only available on-site. A spiffy new visitors center offers interactive museums and other educational exhibits, but the bridge itself is really the whole show.

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