Slice Of France

Slice Of France

The Pont d'Arc

The Pont D'Arc is a natural bridge, situated in the Southern Ardèche, 5 km from the city of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc. It's the emblem of the region. The bridge has a 60 meter length for a 66 meter height. It has been formed because of the “erosion” owed in the river Ardèche thousands of years ago. It is a renowned place for the canoeists and the swimmers because they can enjoy a magnificent view on this bridge. The Pont d'Arc is nicknamed "natural front door" of the Ardèche canyon.
The river dug its bed in a calcareous massif surrounded with a Mediterranean vegetation, the scrubland. In the prehistoric period it was the only natural bridge above the river. Now, the Pont d'Arc is dedicated to collapse one day, in some thousand years, while the other méandres of the Ardèche river will form news.

The decorated Palaeolithic cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc is situated not far from there.
The Legend of the Arc tells that one day, the Lord of Sampzon married a very attractive girl of Vallon pont d'Arc. This last one counted very numerous lovers and pretenders. After the wedding, set of jealousy and by fear of losing his beautiful wife, the lord locked the woman into the “donjon” situated at the top of the Arc, not still dug by waters. One day, while the beautiful was bored, an ugly pilgrim sought asylum. The lord unsuspected him and agreed to show him the beautiful scenery which he was so proud of the top of the tower. While narrating the lord his victories, the pilgrim vanished, rescued the beautiful and fled towards the Rhone. Seeing them disappear, the Lord prayed the good Lord of Husbands returns his wife. His greeting was immediately granted. A terrible noise was then heard, the mountain opened in two leaving room for water lovers and who carried their boat at the feet of the Lord. As he entwined his wife, the pilgrim turned into hairy and horned devil and disappeared with a strong smell of sulfur. The arch of the Pont d'Arc was born.