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Causses and Cévennes
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The Pont du Gard is the feather in the cap of Gard county, the figurehead of its mighty vessel, a masterpiece that never ceases to amaze. The Roman bridge, part of UNESCO World Heritage since 1985, is living breathing proof of the genius of human creativity. Built 2000 years ago, the Pont du Gard is one part of the 52-kilometre Roman aqueduct which once channeled water from the Eure spring near Uzès to the 20,000 people who lived in the city of Nîmes at the time. The Pont du Gard spans the Gardon river in the heart of the countryside. Harmonious proportions and a sense of lightness, despite a volume equal to the Eiffel Tower, are immedately apparent . The majestic Pont du Gard is often the scene of special outdoor events, and is now preceded by a very complete cultural resource centre with museums, interactive discovery space for children and discovery paths.
Saint Gilles Abbey, part of UNESCO World Heritage since 1998, was a major stopping point on the Santiago de Compostela trail. In the Middle Ages, this 12th-century church was a central step for Christian pilgrims. Intricate sculptures on the Romanesque elevations, underscored by red doors, tell detailed stories conveying spiritual messages. Inside, the 50-meter nave and the monumental crypt continue to create a powerful sense of awe. The amazing prowess of medieval architects and builders moves contemporary visitors day in and day out. The spiral staircase that rises from the vestiges of the ancient choir now seems to beckon to a romantic open-air garden.
The most recently-ranked UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gard is the agro-pastoral territory of the Causses and the Cévennes, registered in 2011 as heritage for all humanity. The Causses spread across more than 300,000 hectares of wind-swept highlands, steep valleys and worn mountaintops, where flocks of sheep and goats and herds of cattle were raised for thousands of years. This ancient relation between man and nature has fashioned the landscapes, with drovers’ trails and austere stone architecture that has stood the test of time. Visiting the Causses and the Cévennes means going back in time and connecting with a strong human presence from the past and the profound magical charisma of the Gard.
To discover more, go to our INTERACTIVE MAP
Awe-inspiring Pont du Gard is also a lively, thriving site that serves as the venue for many performances, concerts, exhibitions, fireworks displays and dances throughout the entire year. The events known as the “Féeries du Pont”, an extravagant sound, light, pyrotechnical and video-morphing show orchestrated by the celebrated Groupe F, turns the bridge upside down and inside out with poetry, humour and overwhelming talent. During the summer, the Pont du Gard site is lit up as the sun goes down, creating a splendid sight to contemplate at dusk. The colours enhance architecture and create incredible perspectives that add to the natural and man-made beauty of this unique place. Every evening from 15 June to 14 September 2014…
Lots of other special events are offered throughout the summer season. There is always something to discover. Take advantage of the little beach platforms set up on the banks of the Gardon river, for picnics and swimming in the river with friends and family in view of the beautiful Roman bridge.
Don’t hesitate – the Pont du Gard is the place to be for beautiful, natural fun.
The Causses and Cévennes are recognised as UNESCO World Heritage for the living, changing Mediterranean agro-pastoral landscapes that constitute this territory.
Gard county has set up a network of local tourism professionals – accommodations, restaurants, growers, nature guides and others … to welcome you and provide you with the services you want and need. This local network, known as the Ambassadeurs des Causses et Cévennes, patrimoine mondial Unesco, provides a genuine welcome, helps you learn about and discover this area. Benefit from their expertise !
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