History & Heritage > the gallo-roman town

The gallo-roman bridge

The semi circular arch (9 m. wide, with a span of 17 m. ) is made up of five arcades. It was built in large course masonry, resting directly upon the rock. Until a footbridge was built in 1858, the Roman bridge was the only link between the two banks. We can have a good idea of what the traffic was on the bridge because when the causeway had to be repaired, after the 2nd World War (the bridge was hit by a German bomb but resisted it and was only superficially damaged), grooves meant to guide carts and chariots in narrow and dangerous passages appeared. In the ancient days, the bridge spanned over wharves on piles now no longer visible. The river was well kept, which allowed a dense commercial traffic held by guilds of watermen : these utricularii carried goods on rafts borne up by air-filled goatskins, whereas the nautae used barges hauled by towing. Thus commodities travelled downstream to the Rhône.

  • Le pont vu de la rive de l’ouvèze (credit : Guy Martin)