Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nimes, Uzes, and the Pont du Gard

There's a connection between these three places and we examined it today.  Nimes was a Roman town with special privileges.  Roman soldiers went there to retire and it was provided with a good supply of  water by means of an aqueduct from a spring at Uzes, 35 km away.  Remains of the aqueduct are gone now, except for the stunning part that crossed the Gardon River. More than 2000 years later this structure remains intact.

This is the Pont du Gard, a Unesco heritage site, and a lovely spot to visit. The river is lovely too and often used by kayakers. This taken from the bridge walking bridge that parallels the aqueduct. What a lovely trip that would be! Maybe next time.

One other thing about this spot; it has an abri, an ancient cave where prehistoric man lived. To see these two things juxtaposed really took my breath away. Talk about layers of history!

After visiting the aqueduct we drove to Nimes. And the waters are still flowing there. (Although not via the aqueduct. It was decommissioned after about 500 years because the water channel had been narrowed too much from calcification.)

Nimes is a beautiful city with a thriving pedestrian area filled with fountains, canals, and a beautiful garden that has a feeling of Versailles, but built for the people, not the king. 

The canals were built when Nimes was a centre of fabric dying with indigo. The word denim comes from "serge de nimes" in fact.

I really liked this cheeky cherub in the garden. He was sitting beside a deep pool of water full of healthy-looking goldfish.

Nimes also has an intact Roman amphitheatre and a temple that was discovered when they built the gardens. Amazingly, you can walk right inside it. 

Turns out they thought it was a temple but maybe it's a library. In any case it's beautiful, and another reminder of those incredible Romans. Ther've really left their mark here in the south of France.


  1. Wow. Amazing shots, really draws me in, Joanna.

  2. Joanna, these photos are wonderful. The aqueduct next to the prehistoric cave is a wonder.
    The Romans were indeed incredible.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. Hi, I'm dropping by from William's blog. Since we were in Europe this summer, I got curious as to what you were exploring--and I'm now hooked to see Niemes! That abri is amazing. Thanks for sharing your photos.


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