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Pont Romain de Vaison-la-Romaine - Provence, France

Pont Romain de Vaison-la-Romaine

The bridge was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, with a single arch spanning 17.20 meters

It is still in use, and has survived severe flooding that swept away some more recent bridges

Children playing in Ouvèze river

Dipped into the Ouvèze river

Pont Romain
The semi circular arch (9 m. wide, with a span of 17 m. ) is made up of five arcades. It was built in large course masonry, resting directly upon the rock. Until a footbridge was built in 1858, the Roman bridge was the only link between the two banks. We can have a good idea of what the traffic was on the bridge because when the causeway had to be repaired, after the 2nd World War (the bridge was hit by a German bomb but resisted it and was only superficially damaged), grooves meant to guide carts and chariots in narrow and dangerous passages appeared. In the ancient days, the bridge spanned over wharves on piles now no longer visible. The river was well kept, which allowed a dense commercial traffic held by guilds of watermen : these utricularii carried goods on rafts borne up by air-filled goatskins, whereas the nautae used barges hauled by towing. Thus commodities travelled downstream to the Rhône.

Ouvèze river
The Ouvèze river flows through the town and separates the upper town from the modern city. On the left bank, backed by a rocky outcrop, extends the Upper Town, which dates back to the thirteenth century. The castle of the Counts of Toulouse dominates the city. On the right bank of the Ouvèze are two different quarters: the site of the former Roman colony and the modern part of the town. Archaeological excavations have revealed huge and luxurious Gallo-Roman mansions with sophisticated interior.

Pictures by MSW
Pont Romain de Vaison-la-Romaine - Provence, France Reviewed by Ah Wee on 3:53 AM Rating: 5

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