The Pont du Gard–the most famous aqueduct and built around 1st century A.D.—is one of France’s most visited tourist attractions. It was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1985 on the criteria of “Human creative genius; testimony to cultural tradition; significance to human history.”
This aqueduct—engineered with precision by Romans—carried fresh water to the Roman Empire for centuries. It is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50 km-long (31 mi) structure built by the Romans to carry water from a spring at Uzès to the Roman colony of Nemausus (Nîmes). Because the terrain between the two points is hilly, the aqueduct – built mostly underground – took a long, winding route that crossed the gorge of the Gardon, requiring the construction of an aqueduct bridge.
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