Gare Bridge Pont du Gard
France, Vers-Pont-du-Gard

Engineering building, which, combining functionality and grace, in the process of construction has turned into a true work of art. The Pont du Gard was built by the Romans for domestic purposes: to throw over the Gard River water supply to supply drinking water to the city of Nimes, in the south of modern France. The height of this disorder is 49 meters, length - 275 meters; it was only part of a whole system of bridges and aqueducts, stretching over a distance of 48 kilometers from the source of the Oyr, near the city of Uzes, to Nimes. This is a functional engineering structure without any decorative elements, designed for water supply, but made with impressive architectural grace. The inscription on the aqueduct indicates that it was built in 19 BC. e. under the commander and proconsul Agrippa, friend and son-in-law of Emperor Augustus. However, some archaeologists and historians dispute this date. They believe that the construction of such a high technical level could arise only in later times. The city of Him was formed and grew thanks to the cult of the local water deity, which was attributed to the miraculous healing power. From this deity named Nemauzas comes the name of the city. Under the rule of the Romans, the territory of Nîmes reached 202 hectares, and the population totaled 50,000. Modern estimates have shown that thanks to the aqueduct, every resident of the city could spend 400 liters of water daily. Pont du Gard consists of arcades located in three tiers. Six arches form the lower tier, eleven the middle, and thirty-five form the upper tier, directly through which the water supply runs. Stone blocks are folded in simple masonry, without cladding; bulging stones on the sides were used as supports for wooden scaffolding. These protruding stones do not look too elegant and give the whole appearance of the building a kind of architectural incompleteness. But, apparently, they were needed to care for the aqueduct. Since the water in these places is very saturated with mineral salts, their deposits eventually layered on the bottom of the water supply and had to be removed. From the upper arcade in those places where the floor stones fell, you can see the bottom of the water supply. The slope of the aqueduct itself is 1: 3000, the height difference between the initial (source) and final (Him) points is 17 meters. To the amazement of scientists, it turned out that only one of the six lower arches of the bridge is a carrier. In addition, the Pont du Gard does not cross the river at a right angle, but slightly curved towards the current. What happened to water at the end of the aqueduct? In Nimes, you can still see the well-preserved catchment - the so-called "castellum divisorium" (castellum divisorium). This is a round tank with a diameter of about 6 meters. Water flowed from the aqueduct into this tank, and left from here in five different directions along the twin water pipes. The three openings at the bottom of the tank were obviously used for a cleaning run. Pont du Gard also functions as a transport artery, being part of the local road A 981 (back in the 17th century, the lower arcade of the aqueduct was adapted for the bridge).

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