Αγώνας
The quest of the Sommières Lost Ark Bridge
FRANCE, 2011, 41'
  by AGON - Thursday, 2 February 2012

The ancient bridge of Sommières is one of the most important and well-preserved bridges of the Narbonese Gaul until today. It was built on the instructions of the emperor Tiberius (14-57 AD). The bridge is 190 meters long and had at least 17 arches.

A part of the bridge was inhabited since the 13th century, which caused a serious degradation. The encroachment was regular until the 19th century. The restoration work begun from the 15th century; in the 17th century it was carried out by Henri Pitot (1756-58) and it continued until the 19th century.

The bridge of Sommières is among the few existing inhabited bridges still in use in Europe, like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence (Italy). It is the unique ancient construction of the region, fully preserved and inhabited since medieval times.

The research revealed the exact number of the arches (more than 20) from which only seven can be seen today. Following the archaeologist Sophie Aspord Mercier, we set out to discover these lost arches that lie beneath the medieval city. Thanks to modern technology and virtual images, the mystery is finally revealed: one of the biggest ancient bridges comes back to life.

 


Director: MARC AZÉMA
Producer: PASSÉ SIMPLE