Pont Du Gard ,a masterpiece of ancient architecture

 

The Pont du Gard is a Roman monument built halfway through the 1st century AD. It is the principal construction in a 50 km long aqueduct that supplied the city of Nîmes, formerly known as Nemausus, with water. Built as a three-level aqueduct standing 50 m high, it allowed water to flow across the Gardon river.

In essence, the bridge is constructed out of soft yellow limestone blocks, taken from a nearby quarry that borders the river. The highest part of the structure is made out of breeze blocks joined together with mortar. It is topped by a device designed to bear the water channel, whose stone slabs are covered with calcium deposits.

In designing this three-storey bridge, which measures 360 m at its longest point along the top, the Roman architects and hydraulic engineers created a technical masterpiece that stands today as a work of art.

As a result of numerous scientific studies, we now know that an impressive volume of rock was needed to complete the construction.

Moreover, archaeologists also uncovered evidence of how well organized the project was. They found numbering on the stones, points of support for scaffolding, and evidence of the use of hoists.

Port Ginesta

Port Ginesta is located in Castelldefels, Catalonia, Spain. Just 10 minutes from Barcelona International Airport and 75 minutes from the French border, this modern marina offers 1442 moorings for boats up to 30 meters in length. This marina has the necessary infrastructure to meet the technical needs of the boats who moor there as it has covered dock, paint booth, 75Tn travelift and 8 tons crane. It also provides cleaning, antifouling, repair, winter storage, maintenance and repair of any type of boat, between others. Notably, other services such as 24 hour security, seamanship, gas station, laundry and WiFi. This marina has international certificates according to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, which supports good environmental practices related to the sea and the environment.

Celles,Lac du Salagou

Celles is a commune in the Hérault department in southern France.The original village sits on the bank of Lac du Salagou. The French authorities are allowing this village to decay and all buildings except the town hall and the church are in ruins. It is a popular place for fishing and picnics. 

    
    
    
   

Kite and Windsurfing in Frontignan

image image image image image image image image image imageFrontignan Beach Languedoc-Roussillon

Frontignan Beach Languedoc-RoussillonThe small town of Frontignan is built along the western edge of the Ingril lagoon at the foot of the massif de la Gardiole north of Sète and the surrounding area offers pretty Mediterranean scenery, including roughly 800 hectares of vineyards where the famous Muscat de Frontignan wine has been made for over 2000 years. Numerous biking and walking trails allow visitors to discover the massif de la Gardiole and enjoy the views of the coastline from its summit, and a pleasant morning can be spent visiting the nearby village of la Peyrade. The 7km beach itself is quite urbanised and a mix of pebbles and sand which is regularly awarded for its cleanliness, and the lagoon is very popular with kite surfing enthusiasts. Close by, the marina is the starting point for cruises for fishing or scuba diving parties.

Grand Site De France. Saint -Guilhem de -Desert

 In the South of France, in the heart of Languedoc and the Hérault gorges, the ‘Grand Site de FranceSaint-Guilhem-le-Désert – Gorges de l’Hérault’ main tourist attraction is one of Languedoc’s gems. It is thus no surprise that it has been awarded the ‘most beautiful villages of France’ label.

Set between vertiginous cliffs and stretching out along winding streets, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert originally developed around Gellone Abbey, just a few kilometres from the Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge). Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites by virtue of their being on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The Saint-Guilhem mountains and the Pont du Diable, are much appreciated by hikers and are perfect for discovering fantastic views and rare botanical species.

 UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE

Abbaye de Gellone – Hérault, le Languedoc  Photothèque Hérault Tourisme – Julie Noclercq The ‘Grand Site de France Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert – Gorges de l’Hérault’ (Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert – Hérault Gorges Major Tourist Attraction) is best-known for Gellone Abbey, founded by Charlemagne’s cousin, Guilhem. Extolled by troubadours during the Middle Ages, Guilhem became famous for his military campaigns against the Saracens. The hero of the siege of Barcelona in 803, he eventually decided to lay down his arms to become a monk. In 804, guided by Saint-Benoît d’Aniane, he founded a monastery in the isolated Gellone valley.

From the 10th century onwards, Guilhem was known as Saint-Guilhem and the spiritual importance of Gellone was further strengthened. The monastery became a privileged stopping place 
along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.

At the beginning of the 11th century, reconstruction of the Abbey began. It is a symbol 

of early Romanesque art in Languedoc.  

The Abbey is also classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site by virtue of its position on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, as is the nearby Pont du Diable bridge, considered to be one of the oldest medieval bridges in France. It is situated at the extreme southern end of the Hérault gorges, at the point where they suddenly open out onto the plains of Languedoc.

The gorges offer a spectacular, steep and plunging rocky landscape. Reaching a depth of between 200 and 300 metres in places, they are home to a wealth of uniquely Mediterranean flora and fauna. When the weather turns warmer, kayaking down them is great fun, and the St-Guilhem mountains above make an equally great day out for hikers. From the village square, you can head off to discover some of these exceptional panoramas, as well as some rare botanical species, such as the Salzman pine.

For all these reasons and more, the ‘Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert – Gorges de l’Hérault’ site has been awarded the ‘Grand Site de France (Main Tourist Attraction) label. In 2012 the French people voted it their second favourite village. 
   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 

Sete,France:the perfect brake

Sète is the most fascinating small town on the French Mediterranean coast precisely because it doesn’t go out of its way to be charming. It doesn’t have the time. This is an attractive – but serious – port full of working people with stuff to ship out and turbot to sell.The site is wonderful. Sète encircles a lone hill, the Mont St-Clair, on the otherwise flat Languedoc coast. And it is all-but an island. There’s the sea out front, of course. Behind, though, is the Thau lagoon – a vast expanse of salt water, colonised by oyster- and mussel-beds. Between the two, a network of canals brings the scramble of port and fishing activity right into the town centre.

The canals both define the town and provide the current that energises the place. Many townsfolk have their own little boats to take them shopping. Anglers with apparently unlimited time on their hands line the banks and, come summer, the main Canal Royal is the theatre of Sète’s famous water-borne jousting. Sète is, in short, a swirl of a spot, with constant movement on land and canal.

It helps, of course, that Sète has the finest unsung beaches of the French Med – eight miles of them stretching along the spit of land separating the lagoon from the sea. An enormous scheme to tidy up access and the shore-side promenade is under way. But don’t wait. Go now to find the unfiltered boisterousness of the real Mediterranean. I wouldn’t have it any other way.