PONT DU GARD / UZÈS - MAY 2005
The «Gard Provençal» is the land between Provence and the Languedoc hills.
The main monument of the Gard region is the world known Pont du Gard, one of the wonders of antiquity. The site where the Pont du Gard stands is inhabited since thousands of years ago and there are three important caves there, though not open to the public: Balauziere, Salpêtriere and Sartanette grottos!
"THE PONT DU GARD - 2000 years ago over 1000 people worked for 5 years on the construction of the aqueduct to transport water from the Eure spring near Uzès to Nîmes, a distance of over 50 kilometres. The splendid arches across the river Gardon of the Pont du Gard, located between Avignon and Nimes, are the most well-preserved section of the aqueduct. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985, the Pont du Gard is the most visited antique site in France, with over one million two hundred thousand visitors per year"
Uzès is a town located about 23 km northeast of Nîmes, and 11 kilometres from Pont du Gard. A 1st century temple to the first Roman Emperor, Octavian Augustus, is known in Uzès. The civilized and tolerant urban life of 5th-century town contrasted with the Frankish north. Later, in the 13th century, Uzès hosted a small community of Jewish scholars, as well as a community of Cathars. Furthermore, the title of duc d'Uzès is the premier title in the peerage of France (First Duke of France), coming right after the princes. It was his job to cry out, «Le Roi est mort. Vive le Roi!» at each state funeral, as well as defend the honour of the Queen Mother. The title of seigneur d'Uzès is attested in a charter of 1088.
"TOUR FENESTRELLE - The 11th century Romanesque «Window Tower», with its paired windows, is probably the most famous icon of the city"
"MARKET - Its colourful and highly renowned Saturday market is filled with many regional products. It is said to be the most beautiful French Market. If you're a truffle lover, prepare your wallet (cash only, 1500 Euro/kilo) for the famous Truffle Market in season (December through February). Otherwise, taste a truffle omelette at a local restaurant..."
"THE DUCHY - The castle of the Duke. There are some funny stories about the family: the Duchesse d'Uzès was in 1896 the first woman to be granted a driving licence; the same year, she was arrested by the police (on foot) in the Bois de Boulogne for exceeding the speed limit, then 15 km/h and sentenced by the police court to a fine of 1 franc. She was also the single heir of Mrs. Cliquot, better known as Veuve Cliquot for her champagne..."