Friday, October 12, 2012


and the Euro Bills


The Millau Viaduct crosses the Tarn River near the city of Millau. It is the tallest bridge in the world.

notice the old bridge on the tertiary road below the viaduct

Construction began in 2001 and was completed in record time three years later. The viaduct was built by a private sector consortium - Eiffel and LaFarge with French Engineer, Michel Virlogeux and English Architect, Norman Foster. The Millau Viaduct is considered to be one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time.

The main purpose of the bridge is to cut travel time between Paris and the south of France. It is a toll bridge, part of the péage Autoroute down to Montpelier by the Mediterranean. 

We spent some time at the interpretation/viewing centre. We did not cross the bridge but drove onto the highway just south of it on our way down to the  Camargue.



A rather interesting kiosk in the interpretation centre is the Euro bills display. The paper money has a bridge theme. Each denomination presents a style of bridge from Roman designs to contemporary. Who would really notice this on the back of the bills? Bridge engineers?

This display really got my attention, partly because I am inquisitive and partly because on the backs of the  bills I recognized all of the bridge designs that we have crossed in France. This is so cool that I felt compelled to devote a blog chapter to the Euro bridges. 

This structure is, of course, best represented by the Millau Viaduct

Pont Solférino, footbridge crossing the Seine, Paris

Pont Neuf, crossing the Tarn, Montauban 

Pont Neuf crossing the Seine, Paris

Pont Vieux crossing the Tarn, Montauban 
the tower that housed the town executioner was removed in 1663

Pont 22 Aout 1944 crossing the Tarn at Albi

Pont du Gard crossing the Gardon River. Romans, 1st C AD.

I have more photos of these different bridge designs but for the sake of brevity, I have used only one example of each bridge. Next time you are travelling around Europe, check out your paper money when you see a bridge.

For more travel photography with local information visit my website.

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