Sunday, 7 February 2016
Vallee de l'Eure, Uzès, France
The nearest bit of serious green to Uzès is the Vallee de l'Eure, which is where the source of the water that the Romans harnassed and brought to Nîmes via their famous aqueduct way back in 100BC is.
Most people think of the picturesque Pont du Gard, with its awesome arches, when they think of the aqueduct, but there are bits of it all the way along, just not quite as dramatic, and you can see them in the lovely country park that is hard by Uzès. This is also where the original control basin is, where the Romans would decide how much water to let run through their aqueduct and how much to divert, depending on what was needed.
I wish I could tell you what the tower is about. I can tell you that it's not attached to anything, like a wall or a castle. I can also tell you that the town is a Duchy, that a duke was the highest title in France during the time of kings and queens, before the Revolution, and that of all of them
, the Duke of Uzès was ranked the highest. In fact, there is still a Duke of Uzès, the 17th. Over the centuries, the family's wealth has waxed and waned and waxed again, so the family house, called The Duchy, is currently being done up and is open to paying visitors. I'm telling you all this because there's also a castle and a lot of castle-like walls, so I expect the tower is something to do with all that.
But back to the park... It's definitely a highlight of the town and the signposts helpfully tell you which paths to take to go here or there or to walk all the way to the Pont du Gard, which is about 20 miles round trip. Maybe another day...