Builders of some of the world's most beautiful bridges, French civic engineering is world renowned. But is Gallic good taste and love of technical design inherited from the Romans? The spectacular Pont du Gard, on the Unesco World Heritage list, combines elegance with practicality. Built around 2000 years ago as an aqueduct, its three tiers are still in excellent condition and open to all. With an activity centre, shops, restaurants and museum it's a fabulous day out for the whole family. And you can even get married there.
More or less in the centre of Nimes, near its Roman heart, stands this Norman Foster construction. It was built to provide a ‘new setting’ for the Maison Carrée (an extremely well preserved Roman temple) and thankfully was kept at a low level. Apparently it affords some impressive reflections in the inevitable acres of glass if you’re there at the right time and in suitable weather. I think I’m with Prince Charles on this one.
Boulevard à Daudet
No doubt that many will know that Nîmes is home to a very well preserved Roman amphitheatre and whether or not this is the sort of thing that they may or may not want to see. It does have hidden charms however, even if you’re not into the Roman stuff.
If you climb to the top perimeter wall of the arena (some waist-high steps have to be negotiated) it provides some impressive views across the city which you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else - and for me was worth the entrance fee.
Rue des Arènes
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org