Friday, 24 April 2020

Pont Wilson in Tours


During the Covid19 lockdown the City of Tours has created a YouTube series doing some bitesized history articles. I'm going to use some of them as resources for blog posts.

 Pont Wilson, Tours.
Pont Wilson, Tours.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The first one concerns Pont Wilson (Wilson Bridge) in Tours, built in 1779. This structure was the pride of its engineers because it was the first bridge in France to have a flat deck. Unfortunately, the bridge suffered damage on numerous occasions, even before it was completed. Ten years after completion it suffered a partial collapse. It was blown up twice during the Second World War (once at the beginning of the War, and once at the end), then there was a  serious collapse involving a third of the bridge in April 1978. At the time of this last collapse there was just a single vehicle on the bridge. The driver had the presence of mind to accelerate rapidly and got across to the other side, the bridge going down behind him. The cause of the collapse seems to have been a shift in the main channel of the river and subsequent shifting of sand and gravel on the river bed around the foundations of the bridge.

 Flood markers on the bridge.
Flood markers on Pont Wilson, Tours.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

It was listed as an historic monument in 1928, but owing to the many repairs it doesn't retain much of the original 18th century bridge. Only a single arch, the seventh one, in the middle, is original.

 Distances from Tours to other towns along the River Loire.
Distances from Tours to other towns along the River Loire.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The bridge spans the River Loire and was named after the US President Woodrow Wilson at the end of the First World War. It is made up of fifteen arches and is the oldest bridge in Tours (replacing an 11th century bridge slightly upstream).

************************************************

For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

8 comments:

chm said...

Thank you, Susan, for this very interesting post.

Sheila said...

Always interesting, aren't they.

chm said...

Yes, they all are.

Unknown said...

If at first you don't succeed...
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Jocelyn

Susan said...

Ha! I'm going to steal that for the FB notification of this post :-)

Susan said...

Thank you both. I'm so glad you enjoy the blog. Very good for my morale :-)

chm said...

What about this quote by Guillaume d'Orange
Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre ni de réussir pour persévérer.

Susan said...

Wow! You wouldn't get any modern guru saying anything like that!

Post a comment