Encore…le Canal du Midi

AllAboutFranceThe inspiration for this post, came to me while walking beside the Wey Navigation Canal, last week. It was a circular walk starting and finishing at Guildford via Farncombe Boat House. It’s a great walk, probably about 10 miles, with an optional stop for tea and homemade cake, at the boathouse. Very delicious cake as well!

Here are some photos I took on the walk:

 

I was walking with a former teaching colleague and updating her on our French home in Castelnaudary. As I’ve said too so many times, I love the Canal du Midi and one of the reasons we bought our house is because it backs on to the Canal.

Here are a variety of photos of the Canal du Midi I have taken around Castelnaudary:

 

I am always amazed that the 150 mile (240 km) long canal was actually constructed during the reign of Louis XIV. I find it incredible that such a feat of engineering could have been undertaken at this time.

The construction lasted from 1666 to 1681 and it was Pierre-Paul Riquet who designed and built the canal to transport wheat, wine and textiles. It took 12,000 workers and, apparently, a large part of them were women. It opened on May 15th 1681.

The Canal du Midi became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Here is the ‘Justification for Inscription’ by UNESCO.

The Committee decided to inscribe the nominated property on the basis of cultural criteria (i), (ii), (iv) and (vi) considering that the site is of outstanding universal value being one of the greatest engineering achievements of the Modern Age, providing the model for the flowering of technology that led directly to the Industrial Revolution and the modern technological age. Additionally, it combines with its technological innovation a concern for high aesthetic architectural and landscape design that has few parallels. The Committee endorsed the inscription of this property as the Canal du Midi clearly is an exceptional example of a designed landscape.’

I also found this clip about the Canal produced by UNESCO


Have you ever visited the Canal du Midi? Perhaps you’ve rented a boat and travelled down the Canal? Or maybe you’ve cycled beside it? I’d love to know!

I’m sharing this post with #AllAboutFrance. This is the place to find lots of interesting blog posts which all have a French focus.

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11 thoughts on “Encore…le Canal du Midi

  1. I love the photos and enjoyed the video. We were thinking of going to Paris for Thanksgiving but the price of flights is absolutely horrific. You are so lucky to have that home. It’s like a fairy tale!!!!

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    • That’s a shame about Paris. Yes, I am very lucky. I do count my blessings & appreciate what we have. Thanks for reading & commenting! BTW I checked my spam & your posts weren’t in there, so I guess I’ll just resubscribe. I don’t want to miss out!! Xoxo

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  2. I had my first visit to the Canal du Midi earlier this year and I found it to be an incredible place. I’ve been reading up on the replanting of plane trees there, due to the canker strain that prompted the demise of many of them. Still offering beauty, the people of the area are stepping up. Very beautiful #AllAboutFrance post!

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    • Thanks for commenting, Jill. Glad that you liked the Canal du Midi as much as I do! It’s very sad that the plane trees are having to be felled but, as you say, a very good job is being made of the replanting.

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  3. Hi June, I visited the Canal du Midi for the first time just a few months ago with my family on a canal cruise trip. SO FUN!!! I loved every minute of it and can’t wait to go back. Thanks for sharing this portion of the canal that I’ll have to visit next time! #allaboutfrance

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  4. We live not terribly far from the Canal du Midi, but we don’t know it well at all. However, we did visit the main source for it in the Montagne Noire, which Riquet and then Vauban channeled. The canals were short-lived once the railways started to take over, but they are tranquil places and nearly always well kept in France. #AllAboutFrance

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  5. I went on a boat holiday on the canal du Midi when I was a kid and have longed to do it again but it is soooooooooooo expensive to rent a boat these days. I have friends who live near by and we visit them quite regularly, and I’ve also been to Carcassonne a couple of times and have walked by the canal there. It’s such a beautiful canal and so worrying that the trees are sick and many will have to be cut down. Thanks for sharing these lovely pics with #AllAboutFrance

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    • You are absolutely right, Phoebe. It’s unbelievably expensive to rent a boat which is probably why we’ve never done it! There are little electric boats here & at Narbonne, Capestang and probably elsewhere along the canal; much cheaper but you’re not going to get far! #AllAboutFrance

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