Fades viaduct

The Fades Viaduct (French: Viaduc des Fades) is a railway viaduct in the Puy-de-Dôme department, central France. At the time of its inauguration on 10 October 1909, it was the tallest bridge in the world, across all categories. Actually it still is (as of 2010) the tenth tallest railway viaduct in the world.


The Fades Viaduct is located close to Les Ancizes-Comps, in the Auvergne region, between the communes of Sauret-Besserve and Les Ancizes-Comps. It spans across the river Sioule. It's construction began on 28 October 1901. From 14 to 16 September 1909 it passed the performance tests, using a fully loaded train which weight exceeded 1075 tons. It was opened on 10 October 1909, and put into service ten days later. What makes the Fades Viaduct exceptional is its monumental piers of quarried granite. Towering over 92 m they remain the highest bridge piers ever built in traditional masonry. They have a base larger than a tennis court.

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