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The canal du midi

The canal du midi

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In 1662, Pierre Paul Riquet presented his plans to Colbert for the construction of a canal from the river Garonne to Sète. The piece of work was of gigantic proportions and experienced huge technical problems such as crossing the Naurouze ridge and supplying the canal with water. Riquet died on the 1st October 1680, almost ruined. Of the two hundred and forty one kilometres, a league remained to be dug, and the canal was endowed with three hundred works or art. The canal, on which Vauban left his mark, was later prolonged westwards by the lateral Garonne canal and eastwards by the Etangs and Beaucaire canals. The part it played in economy was reduced with the advent of the railways. Today, the Canal du Midi is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage, and is used by pleasure-boaters sailing through a region rich in its historical past.


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The Canal du MidiThe Canal du Midi is the realisation of an almost Utopian project, to link the Mediterranean to Toulouse and to the Atlantic by a navigable route. It is the work of a man, Pierre Paul Riquet, who applied all his strength and all his means to the (...)