Provence: Roman Marvels Endure

Self-Photo at Roman Pont du Gard This Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard, has stood the test of time for more than 2,000 years and ticking. How utterly unbelievable. Although the Pont du Gard attracts over 1 million visitors a year, with nary a person in sight, we had to resort to a self-photo. The Pont du Guard was built to transport water across the Gardon River Valley, starting at a spring outside Uzes nearly 30 miles away, to the Roman city of Nimes. The Pont du Guard consists of three levels, the top one was where water was transported, and the first level actually was used as a road. It is estimated that it took 800-1,000 workers about three years to construct it. There was no mortar used in building this engineering masterpiece.

Roman Pont Julien, Near Bonnieux

Pont Julien is a small three-arched perfectly preserved Roman bridge, tucked away in the valley floor, just before the rising hilltop village of Bonnieux. It is also more than 2,000 years old, and up until 1995 was still used for traffic. Since then a new bridge has been constructed next to it. Pont Julien was named after the family of Julius Caesar. It was part of the ancient Roman trade road that linked the Alps to the Pyrenees, through the south of Gaul.

If you are intrigued by the Romans and their influence on Provence, create a "Romans in Provence" itinerary visiting Nimes, Arles, Vaison-la Romaine, Orange, Saint-Remy, to name a few places to get you started. Some Roman marvels are well known, and some are much less known. You simply happen upon them along your travels. Secret Roman Ruins Outside of Aix-en-Provence