Photographer's Note

On a beautiful sunny winter’s day (last year), I hired a bike from Calvisson and rode south to the 'Site archéologique d'Ambrussum' just south of the village of Villetelle. There I went for a stroll on the archeological site of the Via Domitia.

The Via Domitia, which crossed the present Languedoc-Roussillon, is the oldest roman path built in Gaul. Its' layout, close to those of motorway A9 and R.N113 was elaborated in 120 BC by proconsul Cneius Domitius Ahenobarbus, who annexed the region and gave his name to the antique way. The Via Domitia joined Rome to Cadix. This major transportation route contributed to the growth of the Roman empire.

The Ambroix Bridge was over a 100m long, which probably had 11 arches, allowed the Via Domitia to cross over the Vidourle River, and reached the Ambrussum Oppidum. An impressive structure in its day.

This Bridge is one of the oldest of the region, believed to have been built at the time when the Route station was created at this site around 30 BC. The bridge was still in use in the Middle Ages as attested by the construction of a small chapel on the bridge in the 12th century and the settlement of a small religious community at the 13th century. It was partially dismantled at the 14th century by nearby Gallargues' inhabitants. River flooding also caused the destruction of several arches.

At the time two arches remained, Gustave Courbet painted it in the 19th century (painting in the Musée Fabre of Montpellier.). The great 1933 flood destroyed another arch, so now there is only one left.

The archaeological site also contains a very well preserved section of the Via Domitia complete with chariot groves in the roadway. See the WORKSHOP for two shots of this 2,000 year old roadway.

carper, cebe, vodomerka oznaczył to zdjęcie jeko użyteczne

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Additional Photos by Chris Chafer (sandpiper) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 767 W: 87 N: 1198] (6788)
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