Monday, January 21, 2008
Pont du Gard
Later on our second day, after our tour of the Natural History Museum, we traveled by VW van to the ruins of the Roman aqueduct now called the Pont du Gard where Viguier designed two buildings, a visitor center and a separate conference facility. Our tour guide was a young staff member with the Pont du Gard, which is similar to one of our national monuments with natural areas traversed by hiking trails.
The aqueduct was built in the first century B.C. to carry water from a spring to the Roman provincial city of Nîmes on the Mediterranean. Anonymous Roman engineers successfully designed a 50-mile channel to satisfy the city's thirst for lush gardens and public baths.
Viguier's conference center creates a gateway that begins the short walk to the aqueduct. On the other side of the river is Viguier's visitor center. Designed to disappear into the landscape, the buildings are barely visible even from atop the aqueduct.