With all of the rich history and stunning old style architecture that France has to offer, you may find it a bit of a surprise to know that one of their most magnificent architectural masterpieces is the sleek and modern Viaduc de Millau Bridge. A contrast to all of the historic old towns and the beautiful landscape, this modern marvel has the privilege of being the worlds tallest bridge.
A wonderful excursion before or after a fun barge vacation with The Barge Connection, the Viaduc de Millau Bridge is a must see if you are looking for a unique visit during your trip to France.
French engineer Michel Virlogeux and English architect Lord Norman Foster have joined together to create a modern and exciting skyline view with the building of the Viaduc de Millau Bridge. You may not believe your eyes when you see the steel design that actually gives the appearance of a huge yacht floating on 7 very slender pillars. Remarkably, this magnificent structure only touches the bottom of the Tarn Valley in 9 places, which gives the illusion that it is floating in mid-air. This record breaking viaduct is a whopping 343 meters or 1130 feet high and 2460 meters or 8070 feet long, and believe it or not, only took 3 years to build! This modern marvel is actually taller than France's most famous structure, the Eiffel Tower.
View the Viaduc de Millau Bridge during your self guided exploration of France in the region of the Aveyron. This region is ideal for discovering the Millau viaduct and surrounding towns. Filled with a unique blend of culture and natural heritage.
At the base of the bridge is the quaint town of Millau. Once the center of leather manufacturing in France, Millau is known for its famous designers of popular leather goods. This is a great opportunity to do some shopping and splurge on a pair of locally designed, hand-made ladies leather or suede gloves from the l'Atelier gantier, 21 rue Droite, which is located near the Tourist Office. These ultra-chic designer gloves come in a variety of colors and start at only around 45 euro! No trip to France is complete without adding something fabulous to your wardrobe!
If you want to find out more about the Viaduc de Millau Bridge, the visitor's center, located at the base of the bridge has a great exhibition center where you can watch movies about the bridge and how it was built. They also have a tourist center that can offer guests plenty of information about other fun things to do during your visit to the region. Guests will also want to make a point to visit the souvenir shop for a wide variety of mementos of their time spent at the world's largest bridge! Choose from games, books, DVD's, post cards, stationery, collectible items, and more!
If you are really adventurous, take the 15 minute walk along the path that leads to the Viaduc de Millau Bridge. This little hike is definitely worth the effort, as you will be rewarded with fantastic views of the bridge as well as the city of Millau. The sleek, modern design of the bridge is such a contrast to the old French village filled with historic architecture, but somehow this melding of the old world and new world styles come together to create a unique and beautiful site.
If you want an interesting and unique experience everyone will enjoy, consider a barge vacation from The Barge Connection for your next visit to France. The Barge Connection has been specializing in creative barge vacations since 1998 and is proud to bring you this blog.