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Connecting the oceans. Greatest Man-Made Waterways and Channels

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Thousands of years ago they became a source of the bloodiest battles. Powerful governors sacrificed their peoples’ lives for use and access to waterways. For years seas and rapid rivers have been providing people with the prime resource - water for irrigation of their lands, food and a chance to travel. The eldest human settlements which subsequently have grown into large cities were first sprung up close to seas and riverbanks. People have learned to subordinate waters. And the peak of human power has resulted in the construction of water canals which are artificial water pathways of various purposes. Canals are traditionally built to pare water routes down or to redirect the water flow. Modern canals carry out many important functions. In appearance they are not easy to distinguish from the rivers due to their incredible beauty and harmony. There are also pretty dangerous canals on our planet. Some of them have long been in the focus of travellers’ attention.

Corinth Canal, Greece

The Corinth Canal is a global sight which is unique in every way. It is the narrowest navigable canal on the planet that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf. It is named in honour of the fondly known Greek city located on the western end. The Corinth Canal has some external distinguishing marks such as length of more than 6 km and a width, which is only 25 meters. High rock walls surround the canal and stretch up to 76 metres. The Canal is only 8 metres deep.

Corinth Canal, Greece The locals began thinking about creating of a channel between the bays thousands of years ago. The idea of this project’s development first came to a tyrant Periandros’s mind in the 7th century BC. But his grandiose ideas could not be realized at those times. Barely started they had to stop due to a number of difficulties. The present Corinth Canal can boldly be called a remarkable historical landmark.

Its building began in 1881 and was finally complete in August, 1893. Just a few decades back the canal was of great economic significance. Nowadays it is of interest as a tourist attraction point. Over 11000 ships travel through the Corinth Canal annually. Numerous tourist ferries are among them. Moreover, the bridges over the canal are used by thrill seekers who indulge a new activity of bungee jumping. Next - Panama Canal

Panama Canal, Panama

Panama Canal, Panama The Panama Canal, which is often called the "Bridge of the Americas", is a true masterpiece in an engineering way. It connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and represents a complicated system of water intake works and locks. Its length is approximately 77 km. The Panama Canal was officially opened in 1920 and was the most grandiose construction project of those times. It is still one of the largest global engineering projects over the past 100 years. Complete article

Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, Germany

Nord-Ostsee-Kanal, Germany You can’t travel across Germany and not be aware of nation’s network of waterways. Top of the list is the Kiel Canal. German Kiel Canal links the North Sea with the Baltic. It is one of the most favourite tourist attractions in Europe ideal for leisure. The canal was named after the nearby city of Kiel and the Bay of the same name. Its length is about 98 km. Having a relatively small width, about 100 metres, the canal proved to be the busiest and highly demanded shipping route in Europe. Complete article

Suez Canal, Egypt

Suez Canal, Egypt The most famous and recognizable one on the planet is the Suez Canal that connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The unique geographical location between Africa and Eurasia gives the canal the priority of being an important transport junction and one of the outstanding global sights. The canal is 163 km long and 60 metres wide, its depth is approximately 20 metres. Complete article

Caledonian Canal, United Kingdom

Caledonian Canal, United Kingdom The UK Caledonian Canal used to be an essential transport junction just a few decades ago. It is by far the greatest tourist destination in Scotland that connects two big lakes those of Loch Lochy and Loch Ness. It is suitable for passenger and cargo vessels. The Canal is open for navigation in the period from March to October. A trip at this time of the year will be an interesting experience if you are eager to enjoy the harmonious scenery. Complete article

White Sea-Baltic Canal, Russia

White Sea-Baltic Canal, Russia Among numerous canals on the territory of Russia, the White Sea-Baltic Canal is particularly noteworthy. The total length of this waterway is about 227000 metres, its width is 36 metres which is rather broad in comparison with other global water giants. The White Sea-Baltic Canal is only 4 metres deep. In view of these scales, it’s hard to imagine that only two years have been spent on constructional works. A tremendous amount of work has been done in just 21 months. Complete article

Augustow Canal, Poland-Belarus

Augustow Canal, Poland-Belarus The Augustow Canal links the Vistula River with the Neman River. It is located in the territory of two republics - Poland and Belarus. The first vessels passed through the canal in 1839, which reflects its historic importance. The canal acquired its name after the Polish town of Augustow since the initiative of its construction was originally introduced by Poland. The purpose of building of about 101-km waterway has been very clear. The Augustow Canal has been planned to operate for timber floating. Complete article

Mittellandkanal, Germany

Mittellandkanal, Germany The Mittelland Canal is a true country’s leader in a number of economic indicators. For many years it has formed an important link in German waterway network. The stretch of the longest German canal is 325 700 metres, it links Rhine with the country’s main water arteries such as Elbe, Ems, Weser and Oder Rivers. The canal is interesting for its picturesque landscapes and historical sights. Complete article

Khlong, Thailand

Khlong, Thailand A Canal tour is a “must do” for those who like to see the traditional Thai ways of living and get a special feeling of the country which can only be obtained by taking a canal tour. The Khlong Canal is one of Thai’s unique symbols which is actually a network of canals on the central plain of the country. Local residents started to build their first canals hundreds of years ago. Those waterways made sailing across the country possible. The canals are connected by the Mae Khlong, the Chao Phraya and the Tha Chin Rivers and a number of their tributaries. Complete article

Gota kanal, Sweden

Gota kanal, Sweden In Sweden there is a huge Goeta Canal constructed in the first half of the 19th century linking the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. It has been benefiting the country’s trading interests for almost 200 years. Besides, the canal has gained many other statuses in recent years. The opening of the Goeta Canal was held on 26 September 1832. It is now a well-known destination to lovers of sailing, as well as lovers of pleasure cruises and fishing. The length of the canal is very impressive and is about 420 000 metres. The canal includes 58 floodgates and a number of adjoining constructions. Complete article

Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, China

Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, China Nowadays everyone in the world knows about the Great Wall of China and even those who have never been to China. The Chinese Grand Canal is another unique attraction which undeservedly remains outside many travellers’ attention. However, it is the Grand Canal that is one of the longest navigable canals of the planet with the length of 1794 km. It runs from north to south from the city of Hangzhou to Beijing. It was originally built to facilitate trade. Complete article

Le Canal du Midi, France

Le Canal du Midi, France The history of the du Midi French Canal takes its origin in 1666. Many travellers know it as Languedoc or the South Canal. The canal was constructed in 15 years and has a length of about 240000 metres. It is the oldest functioning canal in Europe. The first vessels passed on the canal in 1681 and the canal’s traffic never stopped since. Even during the war the Canal du Midi has actively been used by trading and cargo ships. Complete article

Erie Canal, USA

Erie Canal, USA Located in the United States the Erie Canal is one of the most prominent among the extraordinary world’s canals. Its construction began in 1817 with the intention to link the Great Lakes with the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. The canal was completed in a little more than 7 years and had a length of 540000 metres. In 1825 the Erie Canal was open for navigation. Economic gains have accrued tremendously from that use, the canal has reduced the previous costs by over 95%. Complete article

Saimaan kanava, Finland - Russia

Saimaan kanava, Finland - Russia The Saimaa Canal links Finland and Russia. In contrast to its modest origins, the canal has been a world famous object for over a 150 years. The idea to build a canal that would connect Lake Saimaa with the Gulf of Finland appeared in the 16th century, but the construction work had been deferred for an indefinite period. Complete article
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