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Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi or Canal des Deux Mers is a 240 km long canal in the south of France. The canal connects the Garonne River to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean.

The canal runs from the city of Toulouse down to the Mediterranean port of Sète. The Canal has 103 locks which serve to climb and descend a total of 190 meters. The Canal has in total 328 structures, including not only the locks but also bridges, dams and a tunnel.

At the town of Béziers the Canal crosses over the river Orb. To accomplish this feat, a pont-canal (aqueduct) was built.

The design of the Canal included the first canal passage ever built through a tunnel (the Malpas tunnel). The Canal du Midi passes through a passage 173 meters long under a hill at Enserune.

The Canal also involved building the first artificial reservoir for feeding a canal waterway — a massive dam, 700 meters long, 30 meters above the riverbed and 120 meters thick at its base, which was built by the labor of hundreds of local women carrying soil in baskets.

The construction of the Canal du Midi was considered by people in the 17th century as the biggest project of the day. Even today, it is seen as a marvelous engineering accomplishment.


Vers-Pont-du-Gard, Departement of Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon


Website: http://www.midicanal.fr/