midicanalThe European canals : A Chronology by Rusty Tunnard

The European canals : A Chronology

1285 First lock pound (polder) built in Holland, followed fifty years later by the Vreeswijk Canal from Utrecht to river Lek.
1462-1470 Construction of the twenty four mile long Martesana Canal near Milan, and the world's first canal aqueduct.
c.1480 Leonardo da Vinci credited with invention of the modern lock gate.
c.1500 Francis I, impressed with Italian canal technology returns to France with Leonardo da Vinci to study the possibilities of connecting the rivers of southern France by canals.
1603-1646 Construction of Canal de Briare (21¼ miles long (34.2 kilometres)), the first summit-level canal, built to link the Loire and Seine Rivers.
1666 Louis XIV and his chief minister, Colbert, approve construction of the Midi Canal, Canal Royale du Languedoc by Pierre-Paul Riquet, Baron de Bonrepos. Construction begins in the following year of what is well known as Le Canal du Midi The Midi Canal.
1672 Toulouse to Naurouze section completed.
1673 Grand Bassin at Castelnaudary built to provide sufficient water for quadruple-lock staircase of St. Roch.
1681 Midi Canal completed and opened on May 15, connecting the Mediterranean Sea at Sète to the Garonne River at Toulouse and eventually the Atlantic Ocean at Bordeaux.
Midi Canal Map
1856 Opening of Canal Lateral à la Garonne (193kms (120miles) long; 53 locks), linking the Midi Canal at Toulouse to the Gironde estuary at Castets-en-Dorthe. Before the construction of this canal, barges travelling from Toulouse to Bordeaux had to navigate the swiftly flowing Garonne River; sometimes with disastrous results. This new canal finally fulfilled Riquet's dream: to link the Atlantic to the Mediterranean by man-made waterways.

From The Canal du Midi and the Languedoc - a Sightseeing Guide - moc.lanacidim@ytsur

 

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