uchatel, Geneva and Jura.
4. French is one of the offic
So, obeying the angels, the shepherd-boy lifted a very large and heavy stone all by himself and declared that it was the first stone of the bridge that he was going to build.
The local people were very impressed and decided to help build the bridge. They believed that the boy's strength, when lifting the heavy stone, had come from God.
The shepherd-boy is now known as Saint Bénézet and many Christian pilgrims visit the bridge that he built.
Bénézet died young from exhaustion, at the age of 18 years. He did not live to see the completed bridge. The bridge took very many years to construct and was completed a year or so
after his death. Bénézet's feast day is 14 April.
Saint Bénézet is the patron saint of architects because of the great bridge that he built. He is often seen in images as a shepherd boy carrying a heavy stone. (Below)
Bénézet's tomb is in the Church of Saint-Didier, Avignon.
There is a famous French song about people dancing on the bridge. It is called Sur le pont d'Avignon.
54. The tallest bridge in the world is in the south of France. It is called Le Viaduc de Millau and it was opened in December, 2004. It crosses over the valley of the River Tarn and it belongs to the motorway called Autoroute A75. It has four lanes. At one part, it is 343 metres tall (1,125 ft.) and slightly higher than the Eiffel Tower!
It was designed by the French engineer Michel Virlogeux and the British architect Norman Foster.
55. Underneath Paris, there is a very famous and vast network of secret tunnels and passageways. It is forbidden to go down there because it is dangerous, but there are some adventurous people who go exploring the tunnels in secret. The name for these secret explorers is Les Cataphiles.
The underground tunnels were originally used as mines and quarries because, for centuries, the Paris ground was mined for its stone.
The secret mines are called Les Carrières de Paris.
The earliest known Paris mines are mentioned in a piece of text from the year 1292!
There is a special group of inspectors who check the safety of the underground tunnels and spaces, so that the buildings on the streets above will not collapse. This group of inspectors was formed in 1777 and their work is still very important today! They are officially called L'Inspection Générale des Carrières
56. A very famous bridge is Le Pont du Gard in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of Southern France. It is a small part of a very long aqueduct (about 50km long) that crosses the River Gard (or Gardon), so that at that part it looks like a bridge crossing the river.
It was built by the ancient Romans around two thousand years ago.
Its purpose was to transport water along a 50km journey from the spring called Fontaine d'Eure to the Roman town of Nîmes.
At the part where the aqueduct crosses the river, it seems very high, on three levels.
Above, you can see two photos of Le Pont du Gard. The black and white image is from the 1850s!
It took around 1000 workers approximately three years to complete the 50km of aqueduct.
When it was complete, every day it carried fifty thousand gallons of spring water to a big well in Nîmes. The well was called the Castellum. You can see a picture of the well, below.