Look what 5 Euros Gets You!

The image of the Pont Gard on the 5 Euro note is both a reminder and acknowledgment of history.  The bridges was part of the construction of the 50 km aqueduct to carry water to the settlement of Nemausus.  The amazing feature of this water service is that over the distance the slope is only 1 in 3000.  To maintain the flow of water the Limestone aqueduct called, “Pont du Gard” was constructed.  The water way was built around 40-60 ACE and carried water well into the sixth century. The history is as with most monumental histories is enmeshed in the changing political realities of the centuries.  Around 1985 it was designated a world heritage site.

From an approaching distance this is one more fragment of antiquity.  Yet, when approached and understood, it stands out as a marvel of engineering, ingenuity and construction methodology.

The three levels of the structure bear the flow of water.  Some 1000 people labored to get water to a city. Years later, many years later we get to stand in the halo of their work.  A city that survived because 2000 years ago someone had the insight to deliver water.  It might take more than a paper note to acknowledge the grace it took to set a world free from self.

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