Aqueducts, each bolder than the last…
The oldest aqueduct, built around 20 AD, supplied the town with water from Font Morillon (located in the village of Fontcouverte). Its design is surprisingly bold. From the spring, water was essentially channelled into an underground channel to the Vallon des Arcs (currently the Route du Golf). From that point, major engineering structures were built,
such as the Pont des Arcs, a bridge stretching 160 metres in length with 27 arches, the tallest of which rises 16 metres in the air! Despite the ingenuity of the construction, the channel’s flow has a modest pace of 3,000 m3 of water daily. Around the middle of the 1st century, a new aqueduct carried the abundant waters of the springs in Vénérand and Le Douhet to Saintes, located about 15 kilometres away, with a flow rate of 120,000 m3 daily.
A third aqueduct was discovered in 2010. Research into the aqueduct resumed a few years ago, under the impetus of the Charente-Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society. As a result, a third aqueduct dating from the 4th century was uncovered in 2010.
The aqueducts are currently undergoing renovations.