Monday, January 16, 2012

Faire Le Pont

The French expression, faire le pont*, means "to make the bridge" and refers to the practice of extending a weekend to four days on one side or the other when a holiday happens to fall on a Tuesday or Thursday.  Many of my US readers may be faire-ing le pont today (albeit probably only a three-day bridge) in honor of Martin Luther King Day.  I thought I'd offer a literal bridge of sorts to add to the spirit.

Let's step into this new week with a little winter wander through the Provençale woods around the Roquefavour aqueduct.

This lovely structure was largely inspired by the ancient Pont du Gard aqueduct and is located near the village of Ventabren, not far from Aix en Provence.  It serves as a water passage from the Durance River to Marseille and is part of the Marseille Canal. 

Construction of the project, first proposed in 1835, actually began in 1841 and was completed in 1847.  Its span of 393 meters extends over the valley of the Arc, crossing both the river and the road to Aix-en-Provence Berre and the railway Aix-Rognac.  From this elevated vantage point, you can also see the TGV line (high-speed train), which passes within a half-mile to the east (not in this image, but when you're standing there, the TGV is in clear view.)

In 2005, the Roquefavour aqueduct was recognized as an hisoric monument, which it certainly deserves, wouldn't you agree?

Okay.  Class dismissed. 

Please eat your snacks outside and not at your desks.  See you tomorrow!


* faire le pont à quelqu'un means to help someone get beyond a difficulty.  Seems a fitting aspect to add to celebrate MLK.


Mary said...

The Roquefavour aqueduct is a real architectural masterchief and not roman one ! And no doubt this majestic monument deserves to be recognized as an hisoric monument ! Thanks for the lesson of history !

donna said...

i am a willing student...up bright and early .....waiting for all i can learn....loving this angle of the aqueduct......i google mapped both yesterdays and todays pic....todays pic showed a shadow from the aqueduct that was so cool, and with yesterdays pic i was trying to place which window on the cathedral that was....OK i am a bit on the odd side....but an i see things "differently" (always)

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow! I am soooo afraid of heights that I wonder if I would even go over this in a car? It is really high in the air.

Your photo is taken from a great advantage point. You can really see the bridge from this angle.

la fourchette said...

Mary, de rien! I met a woman in Ventabren many years ago who thought the Roquefavour aqueduct was every bit as stunning as the Pont du Gard...I think she has a point!

donna, artists *do* seem to see things differently, don't they? as a child, saturday looked different than every other day of the week to of the many things i see/saw differently!

Kris, thanks...and whoa! This image must have made you a bit dizzy!

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