“Whatever you do, don’t miss the bridges.”
That’s a phrase I’ve never heard before. Bridges have a bit of a bad name. On the face of it, I suppose that they don’t sound exciting. They’re structural, functional units that transport things from A to B. Important, yes, interesting….probably not.
Except that with a moment’s pause, I can think of bridges that have become global icons. Sydney Harbour, the Golden Gate, Brooklyn and London. What’s the missing word in that ensemble? No, I’m not going to state the obvious. Oh, alright, I am – it’s bridge. It seems that when engineers and architects combine robust service with art, they create a legacy that touches our souls.
The Pont du Gard in southwest France scores highly on both counts. Not only does this Roman aqueduct still stand after 2000 years, built from stone without mortar, carrying water for over 30 miles while only dropping 17cm in height and capable of delivering 5 million gallons of water per day, but…it is beautiful.
A riverside walk at sunset reveals the artist’s palette of flaming oranges and reds glowing against the creamy arches. UNESCO listed this bridge as a World Heritage Site in 1985 and my only criticism against this decision would be to ask – what took them so long?
Official Site – in English