This is a stunning piece of understated archaeology hidden in the Provencal countryside. It is located near the village of Fontvieille, heading towards Arles, and is signposted "Roman Aqueduct" - although there aren't many signposts.
Once on the D82 (Route de l'Acqueduc) it is easy to miss the site as the ruins aren't obvious, but you will drive through the remains of a structure about 10 feet tall extending either side of the road. Park on the side of the road where you can - but note the warnings about theft from cars here.
The aqueduct runs north-south across the line of the road. To the north the aqueduct runs towards the sloping ground, and soon disappears the other side of a small stream. In fact there are two aqueducts running side by side, but one is in more ruins than the other.
To the south the aqueduct becomes more impressive and runs towards a cliff, above the level of the surrounding olive trees. The structure of the water channels is clear to see with the cement layer & waterproofing bitumen, along with the stone capping for the channels.
As the aqueduct approaches the cliff the right hand channel turns abruptly to the right, and continues along the north-side of the cliff. It is soon lost in the undergrowth but probably carried fresh water to Arles itself.
The left channel carries straight on through a cut in the cliff wall. Follow this and you come out on an edge above green fields and some further stone remains. These are the remains of a tier of eight watermills for grinding corn. A 2000 year old industrial food production complex!
There is a model of the mill in the Arles museum of antiquities, and there are on-line resources about the mill available, such as on Wikipaedia.
An amazing piece of Roman archaeology, just waiting to be found and visited.
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