Vaison-la-Romaine Gallo-Roman bridge and the terrible flood in 1992
The Roman bridge
"These big blocks of stone, standing since ages in middle of an Alpin torrent’s fury, inspire respect", wrote French writer Stendhal in his Mémoires d’un touriste, part 1.
Oh, this bridge is actually pretty old, 2 000 years old...
He links the old Roman city of Vaison to the Upper City, the medieval town.
It has a single arch, 17 metres long and 9 metres thick! Blocks of stone are linked with metal clamps.
The bridge resisted to German armies' assaults in 1944 and to river Ouvèze’s flood... even the murderous one, on September 22th 1992...
A mortal flood
That day, the rain fell for hours, real downpours. River Ouvèze overflowed its banks.
Quickly, without warning! Cars, roofs, houses were destroyed. 40 people died...
The bridge was restored in 1994, 2 years after the flood.
A plaque commemorates the event: "On September 22th 1992, river Ouvèze was in flood and killed crowds of people. Remember."