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The "Pont de pierre"

The "pont de pierre" (literally "bridge made of stone") was built in 12 years. Napoleonian's empire collapse in 1814 caused a 5 years interruption in the construction,

  • Location: Bordeaux (France)
  • Opening ceremony: April 30th, 1822
  • Total length: 487 m (the largest bridge in France at this time)
  • Number of piles: 16 
  • Number of arch: 17 (like the 17 letters of "NAPOLEON BONAPARTE") 
  • Length of work: 12 years (including 5 years interruption)
  • Cost: 8.2 Millions Francs
  • Work force: 4,000 workers (estimation)
  • Human toll: unknown

The "pont de pierre" is a multiple stone arch bridge (See eduMedia simulation dealing with the different types of bridges).

The bridge is built with local construction materials: Wood (Pines) comes from Landes' forests, stones from Saint-Macaire and Dropt's valley quarries. The bricks for the mansonry were burned in kilns situated at la Bastide using silt/clay form the river.


  • Illustrations from "Encyclopédie" de Diderot et D'Alembert, dealing with "Charpente".
  • Joseph Henri Denécheau's website about the "pont Cessart" (Saumur - France).
  • "Mémoire sur les objets les plus importans de l'architecture", Pierre Patte (1769).
  • "Journal des opérations faites pour la construction du pont de pierre de Saumur sur le grand bras de la rivière de Loire", L.A de Cessart (1764)

Click on the pins of the timeline to open the pictures.

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