Saturday, July 20, 2024
February2023FranceTravel

Viaduc de Garabit France European Trip

Viaduc de Garabit France European Trip

The Viaduc de Garabit
The Viaduc de Garabit with snow

Viaduc de Garabit France European Trip and a visit to the Viaduc de Garabit. We woke up this morning at our hotel in Vierzon and discovered that it was -2 degrees. Before breakfast, I went to defrost the Campervan. It was frozen, so I decided to turn the heater on. Breakfast was calling so I went back to our room for warmth and then for food. I just had cereal and coffee. I left the van for about 30 minutes, then went back to the warm cosy interior of a newly defrosted van. Although warm inside the engine was cold, and it took several attempts to start.

It is an iconic bridge located in the Cantal region of France. Spanning the Truyère River in the Massif Central mountain range. It was designed by Leon Boyer and Gustav Eiffel and was constructed between 1880 and 1884.

Leon Boyer was a French engineer who collaborated with Gustav Eiffel, a renowned civil engineer who designed the Eiffel Tower. Boyer was responsible for the viaduct’s engineering aspects, while Eiffel provided the design and construction know-how.

The Construction of The Viaduc de Garabit

The Viaduc de Garabit
The Viaduc de Garabit Viaduc de Garabit France European Trip

The construction of Viaduc de Garabit was a significant engineering feat of the 19th century. It was one of the first large-scale metal arch bridges, with a span of 165 meters. At a height of 122 meters above the Truyère River. The viaduct was built using wrought iron, with a total weight of 3,800 tonnes.

As you can see from the photo, the construction of the viaduct was challenging due to the harsh terrain and weather conditions in the Massif Central. The workers had to deal with the mountainous terrain, frequent storms, and harsh winter conditions. Despite the challenges, the construction of the bridge was completed within four years, and it was inaugurated in September 1884.

The reason for building Viaduc de Garabit

The Viaduc de Garabit Construction
The Viaduc de Garabit Construction

The main reason for building the Viaduc de Garabit was to provide a railway link between the cities of Marvejols and Neussargues. The bridge helped to connect the isolated region of Cantal with the rest of France. It was an essential transportation link for both goods and people.

Today, the Viaduc de Garabit is still in use as a railway bridge. It is also a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors who come to admire the bridge’s architectural and engineering excellence. The viaduct has also been featured in several movies, including the James Bond film “The World Is Not Enough.”

The Viaduc de Garabit snow
The Viaduc de Garabit and a little snow Viaduc de Garabit France European Trip

The Viaduc de Garabit is a testament to the engineering prowess of Leon Boyer and Gustav Eiffel. It is an important part of France’s industrial heritage and a symbol of the country’s engineering excellence. The bridge’s construction provided employment to hundreds of workers and helped to connect the isolated region of Cantal with the rest of France. Today, it remains an iconic symbol of France’s engineering heritage and a testament to the human spirit of innovation and perseverance.

Viaduc de Garabit and its influence on the Eiffel Tower

Viaduc de Garabit and the Eiffel Tower
Designs from The Viaduc de Garabit and the Eiffel Tower

The Viaduc de Garabit played an important role in the design and construction of the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel, who was the designer and builder of the Eiffel Tower, had already gained extensive experience in bridge building through the construction of the Viaduc de Garabit.

The Viaduc de Garabit was one of the first large-scale metal arch bridges, and it was built using wrought iron, a material that Eiffel would later use in the construction of the Eiffel Tower. The bridge also showcased Eiffel’s innovative design and engineering abilities, such as the use of streamlined arches to reduce wind resistance.

The construction of Viaduc de Garabit also helped Eiffel to perfect the use of prefabricated components in bridge building. This technique allowed for faster construction times and more efficient use of resources, and it was used extensively in the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel’s success in building the Viaduc de Garabit gave him the confidence and reputation to undertake the ambitious project of building the Eiffel Tower. The tower’s iconic design, made of wrought iron and consisting of prefabricated components, was heavily influenced by Eiffel’s experience in bridge building, including the construction of Viaduc de Garabit.

In Conclusion

In summary, the Viaduc de Garabit was a significant influence on the design and construction of the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel’s experience in building the bridge helped him to perfect the use of wrought iron and prefabricated components in his later projects, including the Eiffel Tower, which has become an iconic symbol of Paris and France.

Location of The Viaduc de Garabit

While travelling south on the A75 look for a rest area named “Rest area Garabit” Aire de repos de Garabit. There are toilets and a small shop and cafe. Go into the shop walk towards the window and turn right. This is an area that explains about the bridge and the building of it.

Viaduc de Garabit website link

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