Comps Arcades Aqueduct
The "Les Arcades" aqueduct of Comps is [was] a multi-arched stone aqueduct carrying water from the Rhone to Nimes, from the end of the 19th century. The aqueduct was built of stone in 1892-1900, and spanned 160 m across a low valley 5 km northwest of Beaucaire, and 1 km south of the village of Comps.
The full aqueduct-canal route was about 25 km long, supplying water pumped from the Rhone and crossing the vineyards and farmlands due west to Nimes. For the last century or so, there's been no trace left of the old canal-aqueduct route, except for the tall and graceful stone aqueduct named Les Arcades.
The stone aqueduct sits in a lost little valley, unknown to most people except for the hikers and off-road cyclists in the area. Local hiking trails, and the grande randonnée G6 passes beneath the aqueduct, then passing the incredible troglodyte St Roman Abbey carved into the stone hilltop just beside.
Disaster, Christmas 2018
The night of 23 December 2018 it all came tumbling down. Sunday had been cool, but clear and sunny, and there were a lot of walkers and hikers out through and beneath the aqueduct. About 22h30 (10:30 PM) that evening, there was a loud roar, heard by the residents just a few meters to the north, including the Mayor of Comps. People rushed outside to see what had happened, and were greeted by thick clouds of dust, and a long pile of rubble where the 19th-century aqueduct had stood.
Emergency teams were rushed in immediately, including with thermal imaging equipment, and ascertained there were no victims. A certain sadness, though, settled in when people realized their beautiful aqueduct was now gone.