Fades viaduct

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Fades viaduct
Viaduc des Fades
Viaduc des Fades.jpg
The Fades Viaduct
Carries Railway
Crosses Sioule
Locale Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne region,  France
Design Truss viaduct
Material quarried granite and steel
Total length 470.25 metres (1,542.8 ft)
Height 132.50 metres (434.7 ft)
Designer Virard Felix
Construction begin 28 October 1901 (1901-10-28)
Construction end 16 September 1909 (1909-09-16)
Opened 10 October 1909 (1909-10-10)

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. As of 2010 it still is 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. Its construction began on 28 October 1901. From 14 to 16 September 1909 it passed the performance tests, using a fully loaded train whose 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 in height they remain the tallest bridge piers ever built in traditional masonry. They each have a base larger than a tennis court.

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Coordinates: 45°58′17″N 2°48′11″E / 45.97139°N 2.80306°E / 45.97139; 2.80306