An ancient bridge and more

Pont du Gard

Another outing took us into the foothills where more ancient ruins dotted the landscape. More about the above shortly, but a few stops along the way.

Glanum was an ancient and wealthy city which still enjoys a magnificent setting below a gorge on the flanks of the Alpilles mountains. It is located about one kilometre south of the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. We stopped at a well preserved mausoleum and a triumphal arch.

Next stop brought us 1,200 years or so forward. The Château des Baux-de-Provence was built in the 11th century for the Lords of Baux, one of the most powerful families of lower Provence in medieval times. Les Baux was struck several times by local wars, including the Baussenque wars between 1145 and 1162 because of a conflict for the succession of the county of Provence.

The fortress suffered many assaults and fights during the following decades. Several lords wanted to control this stronghold from which one could see, when the weather was clement, as far as the Mediterranean Sea. In the 13th century, 3,000 inhabitants lived in the village of Les Baux-de-Provence

Part of a lengthy Aqueduct built around 50 AD it brought millions of gallons of water daily to the new Roman town of Nimes. The issue that was overcome was getting water from a source 20 or so kilometres away. Engineering was amazing not only because of the distance but due to the hills and valleys. The structure is much longer due to the undulating terrain.

To ensure a reliable, but safe journey, the engineers planned and constructed a gradient that is calculated to be just 30 cm per kilometre or 17 meters over the entire 59 KM length. Also used as a bridge for many years, it was maintained even after the fall of Rome. It had continuous use until around the 6th century and parts were still functional even after proper upkeep was abandoned.

We were able to walk up some steps to gain access to the bridge besides the aqueduct. Our exercise for the day.

And then a quick view from the bridge before heading “home”

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