Spectacular Constructions of Midi Pyrenees
Crazy projects? The Midi-Pyrénées counts more than one engineering feats! Defying the laws of physics, three sites will blow your mind, either propelling you through the air or navigating on water: the Pic du Midi, the Millau Viaduct and the Canal du Midi.
The Pic du Midi (Hautes-Pyrénées): reaching for the stars 2,877 metres: such is the altitude of the Pic du Midi, one of the mythical peaks of the Pyrenees. It is also the height climbed in 1880 by hundreds of men on foot or riding on donkeys. What was their goal at the time? To build an observatory so that scientists would be able to study the stars as close as possible to the skies.
Nowadays, both the observatory and its museum can be reached by all in a mere 15-minute cable car ride from the sky resort of La Mongie. Sunsets on a sea of cloud, nights under the stars and even the awe-inspiring view of Pyrenean peaks stretching 300 km into the distance, all these experiences are yours!
The Millau Viaduct (Aveyron): the hanging giant
Completed in 2004 after 3 years of work preceded by 17 years spent designing it, the Millau viaduct breaks more than one record: the world’s highest pylon (343 m) and a length of 2.5 km!
You can approach this hanging giant in two ways. Either from the top, walking, cycling, driving a car or even riding a quad bike: this will afford you sensational views of the Tarn Valley and the town of Millau. Or from beneath, as you go down the River Tarn by boat: This, in turn, will allow you to see the bridge from afar, with its sail-like features.
Worth seeing in the vicinity: the Roquefort caves, the gorges of the Tarn as well as the Templar Cities of the Larzac.
The Canal du Midi (Haute-Garonne): the King’s way between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean
Link the Atlantic to the Mediterranean? This was the daring gamble taken by Pierre-Paul Riquet in the 17th century! For 14 years and with the help of 12,000 workers, King Louis XIV’s engineer dug up a 240 km long canal between Toulouse and the shores of the Mediterranean: the Canal du Midi.
The Canal du Midi has its source at Lake Saint Ferréol, near Revel. Beach, swimming, nautical sports, fishing: the area offers a broad range of ways to have fun... and expand one's culture! In 2008 in fact, the Canal du Midi Museum and Gardens opened to the public, a concept combining fun exhibitions and a romantic park.
Discover the hit videos on these Great Sites and prepare your holidays on